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U. S. A. 

BY D. E. HUDSON, C. S. C. 

To the 

C. W. S. R. C, Salem, Mass., 
with Aloha. 




THE afternoon shadows were length- 
ening under the walls of the monas- 
tery of Santa Cruz, a house of the 
Canons Regular of St. Augustine, 
at Coimbra. Life within that holy 
house stole on as slowly, as regu- 
larly, and for the most part as 
silently, as those deepening shadows. 
Each morning it was renewed as 
cheerfully as broke the dawn upon 
the waves that wash the shores of 
Portugal; each noon it was radiant 
with the fulness of spiritual joy; 
each evening it hushed itself to rest 
with prayer and praise; and these 
three epochs in the daily life of 
the cloister were heralded by the 
mellow peal of the Angelus as it 

2 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

was wafted over the embosoming 
hills, and throbbed into silence in 
far-off, fainting echoes. 

Now and again something oc- 
curred in the monastery something 
slight in itself, but enough to break 
in upon the peaceful current of 
events and create an interest or 
excitement that fairly startled the 
gentle occupants. There were guests 
from time to time quite a number 
of them; for the worldly are ever 
curious concerning the inner life of 
those who though in the world are 
not of it. Therefore there was a 
guest-master at Santa Cruz, as there 
is always a guest-master in every 
monastery; and his office it is to 
receive those who desire to see the 
chapels, the relics, the cloisters. It 
is the duty and the pleasure of 
this guest-master to conduct visitors 
through the monastery and to en- 
tertain them; and thus relieve the 
friars from all distractions, such as 
sudden and unexpected calls from 
prayer or labor. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 3. 

One day at Santa Cruz five 
stranger guests arrived three priests 
and two lay -brothers, disciples of 
St. Francis, whose Order was then 
but ten years old. These friars had 
been assigned to the mission in 
Morocco, and were on their way 
thither when they sought the hos- 
pitality of the Abbey of Santa Cruz, 
Who shall say that it was chance 
alone that brought them thither? 
They were Franciscans. Not far 
distant from Coimbra, the pious 
Queen of Portugal had established 
the Convent of St. Anthony of 
Olivares; it was situated in an 
olive grove, whence it derived its 
name. The house was small and 
poor, but it was large enough to 
shelter the five friars; and the 
Brother Questor, whose duty it was 
to ask alms for the needs of the 
brethren, would have gladly shared 
his frugal fare with these apostles 
who were on their way to martyr- 
dom in Morocco. But they passed 
Olivares and sought the gates of 

4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Santa Cruz, and were there given 
heartfelt welcome. 

Was it for this reason that, as 
the Franciscan chronicles tell us, 
" Queen Urraca sent for and lovingly 
received the friars"? For indeed 
she held their Order in great esteem, 
and inquired many things concern- 
ing their errand, most courteously 
offering to supply all their wants. 
Not content with the brief account 
of their General's intention which 
they gave her, this lady, thirsting 
as the hart for the word of God, 
engaged them in spiritual discourse, 
drawing thence much sweetness and 
consolation; then, taking them 
apart, she besought them, for the 
love of Him for whose sweet name 
they were going to torments and 
death, to beg of Almighty God to 
reveal to them the day on which 
she should die. And, albeit the 
friars endeavored by all means to 
escape her importunity, saying that 
they were most unworthy to know 
the secrets of the Lord, and other 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 5 

words of like import, yet did she 
at length prevail with them to give 
her that promise which she craved. 
And so, after fervent prayer, they 
again came before the Queen and 
bade her be of good courage; for 
that it was the will of God that her 
end should be very shortly, and 
before that of the King, her husband. 
Moreover, they gave her a sure 
sign; for, "Know, lady," they said, 
"that before many days we shall 
die by the sword for the faith of 
Christ. Praised be His Divine Maj- 
esty, who has chosen us, poor men, 
to be in the number of His martyrs ! 
Our bodies shall be brought into 
this city with great devotion by 
the Christians of Morocco, and you 
and your husband shall go to meet 
them. When these things shall come 
to pass, know that the time is come 
for you to leave this world and go 
to God." 

The guest-master of Santa Cruz 
was a youth of four and twenty, 
who was already ordained. He had a 

6 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

marvellously beautiful countenance 
and was singularly engaging in 
manner. Naturally, he was thrown 
much in the society of the friars, 
and often conversed with them of 
the extraordinary history of Porti- 
uncula and of the miracles wrought 
by their seraphic Father, St. Francis 
of Assisi. Certain it is that the 
five friars perished in their blood 
at the hands of the infidels. Their 
bodies were brought home in solemn 
state, attended by various super- 
natural manifestations calculated to 
inspire reverence and awe. 

It was the King's wish that these 
relics of the first Franciscan martyrs 
should rest in the principal church 
of the capital; but they were mys- 
teriously guided or conveyed to the 
monastery of Santa Cruz, where 
they had lodged, and where his 
Majesty had a superb chapel erected, 
in which the relics were reposited. 

Many marvels were witnessed at 
that shrine, and these deeply touched 
the heart and the spirit of the 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 7 

young guest-master. But a few 
months before he had held converse 
with these very friars, who were then 
joyously seeking the palm and the 
crown of martyrdom; now they 
were in paradise, and he was kneel- 
ing beside their holy dust, a poor 
friar groping blindly after that light 
that should illumine him and make 
clear his path of life. 

One day, kneeling at that tomb, 
his heart aflame with love and 
veneration, from the depths of his 
soul he cried out: "O that the 
Most High would grant me to be 
associated with them in their glorious 
sufferings! That to me also it were 
given to be persecuted for the 
faith to bare my neck to the exe- 
cutioners! Will that blessed day 
ever dawn for thee, Fernando? Will 
such happiness ever be thine?" 
Thus, through chaste communion 
with the five friars call it not 
chance that brought their hearts 
together, through the sufferings, by 
the sacrifice, and at the tomb of 

8 The W onder-W orker of Padua 

the five martyrs, did Fernando de 
Bouillon find his vocation. 

The W onder-W orker of Padua 



WHO was Fernando de Bouillon? 
He was the son of Martino de 
Bouillon, and Teresa Tavera, his 
wife, who were of ancient lineage 
and noble birth. Don Martino de- 
scended from the illustrious Godfrey 
de Bouillon, who led the first Cru- 
sade and was the first Prankish 
King of Jerusalem. He was the 
grandson of Vincenzo de Bouillon, 
who followed King Alfonzo I. in 
his campaign against the Moors, 
and who, in acknowledgment of his 
deeds of valor, was made governor 
of Lisbon. This office became hered- 
itary in the family of De Bouillon; 
and Fernando, as first son of the 
house, was heir to it. And Dona 
Teresa was hardly less illustrious. 

jo The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Her ancestors had reigned over the 
Asturias in the eighth century, until 
the invasion by the Saracens. 

Don Martino and Dona Teresa 
occupied a sumptuous palace close 
to the cathedral of Lisbon. Here 
Fernando was born on the i5th of 
August, 1195. Eight days after his 
birth he was carried with great 
pomp to the cathedral, and there 
received in baptism the name of 

Though nothing of a prophetic 
nature preceded the birth of Fer- 
nando, it was soon evident that he 
was no ordinary child. Born on 
the Feast of the Assumption, it 
was at the shrine of Our Lady 
del' Pilar he received the grace of 
baptism. To the Blessed Virgin his 
mother consecrated the babe when 
returning from the baptismal font; 
Maria was the first name he learned 
to utter, and the hymn he heard 
oftenest from his mother's lips was 
"O Gloriosa Domina!" As a child, 
the sight of an image or a painting 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua n 

of the Madonna would change his 
tears to smiles; as a religious, he 
placed himself under the special 
protection of the Blessed Virgin; 
as an apostle, he was her champion, 
ever sounding her praises, ever ready 
to do battle in her cause. At the 
age of ten, beautiful in form and 
feature, with an inner spiritual 
beauty that gave his face an almost 
angelic expression, possessed of a 
sweet and gladsome nature, a quick 
intelligence and a lively imagination, 
he had already shown a preference 
for the secluded paths of a religious 

During five years of his infancy 
Fernando attended the cathedral 
school in Lisbon, clothed in the 
garb of a cleric. He was a pattern 
of all the proprieties. In this ex- 
quisitely refined child virtue blos- 
somed like a flower, and breathed 
forth a delicate fragrance that all 
who approached him became con- 
scious of. 

It was now he gave the first 

1 2 

12 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

manifestation of that power which, 
through him, was to work wonders 
so long as he lived, wonders that 
have never ceased, and are never 
to cease in this ever-wondering 
world. Kneeling one day at the 
shrine of Our Lady in the cathedral, 
his eyes on the tabernacle wherein 
the Blessed Sacrament was veiled, 
a demon, one of those baleful spirits 
that still tempt and delude the un- 
wary, appeared before him. Startled 
as he was, with the pious instinct 
of nature he traced upon the marble 
step where he was kneeling the 
Sign of the Cross. The vision van- 
ished, but to this hour is seen that 
sacred symbol indelibly impressed 
upon the marble. In that hour 
Fernando 's fate was sealed. 

With everything to make life allur- 
ing youth, beauty, health, wealth, 
high birth and gentle breeding, de- 
voted parents and idolizing friends 
the child turned from them all. It 
was his destiny. Already able to 
meditate upon the foolish rewards 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 73 

of life and labors in the world and 
for the world alone, Fernando ex- 
claimed: "O world, how burthen- 
some thou art become ! Thy power 
is but that of a fragile reed; thy 
riches are as a puff of smoke, and 
thy pleasures like a treacherous rock 
whereon virtue is shipwrecked." 

He seems to have resolved on this 
occasion to enter the religious life; 
to turn from the luxurious delights 
that had never appealed to his 
nature, and accept poverty, humil- 
ity, and obedience as his portion. 
This resolution once formed, nothing 
could cause him to reconsider it. 

At the gate of the Abbey of 
St. Vincent he implored admission; 
"being attracted thither," as the 
chronicle quaintly records, "by the 
renown for learning and holiness of 
its men." Surely nothing could 
have offered him a more pleasing 
prospect than the society of such 
as these ; nothing afforded him more 
perfect satisfaction. 

14 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 


WHAT wonder that the child should 
have turned from the world in his 
fifteenth year, when most children 
at that stage of development find 
an indescribable joy in mere physi- 
cal existence? From his earliest 
infancy his life was an involuntary 
consecration. He was meekness, 
compassion, love personified. He 
had a special devotion to the im- 
poverished and all those in sorrow 
and affliction. He was never known 
to utter a falsehood. All the offices 
of the Church were dear to him. 
He never failed to hear Mass daily, 
and joyfully and most reverently 
to serve. Our Blessed Lady, pattern 
of purity, was his chosen patroness. 
For the amusements which were 
the delight of his companions he 

The W onder-W orker of Padua 75 

cared nothing; the pleasures of 
life he never knew, and hoped never 
to know. He was the natural enemy 
of idleness; was instinctively studi- 
ous; and of a sweet solemnity, 
which did not oppress but rather 
edified his associates, and endeared 
him to them. 

What wonder that he should turn 
from the madding crowd and seek 
the seclusion of a cloister? There 
was nothing unwholesome, nothing 
unnatural in his resolve to quit the 
world while yet a child in years. 
For a youth of his temperament 
a temperament which was an angelic 
heritage there is really but one 
step to be taken; firmly, but in all 
humility, he took it. 

Without the walls of Lisbon stood 
the Monastery of St. Vincent, a 
house of the Canons Regular of 
St. Augustine. Having obtained the 
leave of his parents, he went thither; 
and, casting himself at the feet of 
the prior called by some Gonsalvo 
Mendez and by others Pelagius, 

1 6 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

he asked to be admitted to the 
holy brotherhood. Naturally edified 
by the gentle and reverent spirit 
of the youth who knelt before him, 
the prior received him with affec- 
tionate tenderness, and in due course 
of time he was clothed in the white 
robe of the Order. 
Jk< What happiness of heart was his, 
what peace of spirit, what serenity 
of soul! Alas! they were short- 
lived. His friends, missing him sorely 
sought him at all seasons. If he 
had before this been to them an 
engaging mystery, a surprise by 
reason of his unlikeness to them and 
to any other whom they knew, he 
was now, clad in the pale robe of 
the Augustinians, their wonder and 
delight. He drew them irresistibly 
to the monastery, and their well- 
meant but .ill-timed visitations were 
a distraction which he could not 
long endure. 

Two years were enough, and more 
than enough, to assure him that 
at St. Vincent's, let him strive never 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 17 

so bravely against such a fate, he 
was in danger of losing his voca- 
tion. He must seek security in 
solitude, in exile; and that without 
delay, if he would attain the per- 
fection which was his aim in life. 
It was in no bitterness of spirit, 
no pride, no impatience, he turned 
from all who loved him most. It 
was an honest and an earnest effort 
on his part to reach that state of 
grace for which his heart was hunger- 
ing night and day. At St. Vincent's 
he was neighbor to the world and 
the worldly life he cared not for. 
He must fly hence, at any cost to 
comfort, temporal or spiritual. He 
must steel his heart to the sweet 
assaults of earthly love; for the 
unity, peace and concord he sought 
found no abiding place under heaven 
save in cloistral seclusion. 

The prior of St. Vincent's had, 
during the two years of Fernando 's 
sojourn there, beheld with joy the 
fervor of the youth; and when that 
youth implored him to be allowed 

1 8 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

to depart into some other house of 
the Order some house far removed 
from Lisbon and the voices that 
were constantly crying to him to 
return to them again, the prior 
was for a season loath to give him 
leave; but, as the old chronicler 
says: "Having at length, by tears 
and prayers, obtained the consent 
of his superior, he quitted not the 
army in which he was enlisted, but 
the scene of combat; not through 
caprice, but in a transport of fervor. " 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 


NEARLY a hundred miles from Lisbon 
stood the Abbey of Santa Cruz. It 
was lapped in the seclusion of Coim- 
bra; it was far from the trials, the 
temptations, the tribulations of the 
work-a-day world. It was the 
motherhouse of the Augustinians, 
the head cradle of the Order. 
The sweet influences of the saintly 
Theaton, its first prior, still per- 
fumed it. It was the centre and the 
source of all the noblest traditions 
of the tribe, the inspiration of the 
clergy, the consolation and the pride 
of the loyal and widely scattered 

The Abbey was a far-famed seat 
of learning. There Religion and 
Letters went hand in hand. Don 

2O The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

John and Don Raymond, both 
Doctors of the University of Paris, 
were among the scholars at Santa 
Cruz. For a student, for a religious, 
for a recluse, there was no retreat 
in Portugal more desirable than 
this; and thither Fernando was sent. 

His new brethren were not long 
in convincing themselves that Fer- 
nando 's change of residence had 
not been made without reflection, 
and that the love of novelty had 
no share in his decision. He had, 
it is true, ardently longed for soli- 
tude and tranquillity; but, far from 
seeking therein a dispensation from 
the rigor of monastic life, he sought 
but a means to perfect himself 
in virtue. At Lisbon he had read 
the literature of pagan antiquity; 
at Santa Cruz he devoted himself 
to the study of theology, the 
Fathers, history, religious contro- 
versy. Above all these, the Sacred 
Scriptures won his ardent attention. 

He was seventeen years of age 
when he entered Santa Cruz. He 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 21 

was completely detached from the 
world. Nature had in every way 
richly endowed him. His memory 
was prodigious. All knowledge came 
to him freely, without effort; and, 
once acquired, it never left him 
more, but, beautifully adjusted and 
ready for instant use, it seemed 
literally at his tongue's end. 

Eight years he passed at Santa 
Cruz, in obedience, in prayer, in 
study. He grew continually in vir- 
tue he was virtue's self. Devoted 
to his books, he never permitted 
the study of them to interfere with 
the pious duties allotted him. On 
one occasion, being employed in 
some remote part of the Abbey, he 
heard the note of the Elevation 
bell; turning toward the chapel, 
he prostrated himself, and beheld 
the distant altar, and the Sacred 
Host in the hands of the celebrant, 
beheld them all as plainly as if the 
intervening walls had vanished away. 

Nor was this the only wonder 
he worked at Santa Cruz. While 

22 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

nursing one of the religious, the 
patient a victim of obsession- 
became uncontrollable. Fernando, 
spreading the hem of his mantle 
over the sufferer, brought to him 
instant and permanent relief. 

His erudition grew to be the 
subject of general comment. He 
knew the Holy Bible by heart; he 
seemed to have taken the sense and 
substance of it to his soul, so that 
it became a part of him. In one 
of his commentaries he wrote: "O 
divine Word, admirable Word, that 
inebriatest and changest the heart, 
Thou art the limpid source that 
refreshest the parched soul; the 
ray of hope that givest comfort to 
the poor sinner; the faithful mes- 
senger that bringest glad tidings to 
us exiles of our heavenly country!" 

He never forgot what he had once 
studied; though the time was to 
come when the calls upon him were 
so many and so various he had no 
moment in which to read anything 
save only his breviary. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 23 



NOT far from the Monastery of 
Santa Cruz, at Olivares, stood the 
Franciscan Abbey of the Olives. 
This holy house was small and poor. 
It was named in honor of St. An- 
thony of the Desert; his poverty, 
his frugality, his sobriety were 
patterns for the frati who dwelt 
there. They lived upon the tribute 
gathered by the humble supplicants 
who went forth daily asking alms 
of the faithful. Often they had 
knocked at Fernando 's door; often 
he had shared his bread and his 
wine with them; and he was begin- 
ning to feel a personal interest 
in them when the five friars who 
were afterward martyred in Morocco 
sought the hospitality of Santa Cruz, 

24 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

where he soon grew to know them 

The martyrdom of the friars, the 
transportation of their relics to Por- 
tugal, and the shrine prepared for 
them at Santa Cruz, the knowledge 
he had gained of the origin and de- 
velopment of the Franciscan Order, 
inspired Fernando with a longing 
to become himself a follower of St. 

Now the solitude he had sought 
and found in the cloister at Santa 
Cruz began to pale. He feared he 
was wasting his life; he felt that 
his energy and enthusiasm should 
be placed at the disposal of those 
who were in crying need ; and surely 
there were many such. He would 
even follow in the footsteps of the 
five friars; he also would offer his 
body to be martyred for Christ's 
sake and for love of his fellowmen. 
Therefore when the Brother Questor, 
whose duty it was to ask alms for 
the needs of the Convent at Olivares, 
came to Santa Cruz, Fernando talked 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 25 

long and earnestly with him con- 
cerning the rule of his Order and 
the wonderful founder thereof. 

This Brother Questor and Fer- 
nando were in close sympathy. One 
day when Fernando was saying 
Mass the Brother Questor died. At 
that moment Fernando, dissolved in 
ecstasy, saw his soul in its flight 
through purgatory, ascending dove- 
like into the realms of bliss. It may 
have been this vision, or it may 
have been the glorious sacrifice of 
the martyr friars, or the poverty 
and devotion of the brotherhood, 
that inspired Fernando with the 
desire to become one of them; we 
know not what was the primal cause, 
but we know that with difficulty he 
obtained leave of the prior of Santa 
Cruz to detach himself from the 
Augustinians and join the followers 
of St. Francis. 

He had won the respect, the love, 
the esteem, the admiration of his 
associates at Santa Cruz ; they would 
fain not part with him. One said 

26 The W onder-W orker of Padua 

to him, half in jest and half in 
earnest: "Go thy way; thou wilt 
surely become a saint." Fernando 
replied: "When they tell thee I 
am a saint, then bless thou the 

In applying for admission to the 
Franciscan ranks, Fernando had 
said: "With all the ardor of my 
soul do I desire to take the holy 
habit of your Order ; and I am ready 
to do so upon one condition that, 
after clothing me with the garb of 
penance, you send me to the Sar- 
acens, so that I also may deserve 
to participate in the crown of your 
holy martyrs/' 

Then he put off the white robe of 
the Augustinians and donned the 
brown garb of the impoverished 
Franciscans; took unto himself the 
name of Antonio, the patron of the 
hermitage of Olivares; and, without 
one adieu, joyfully vanished from 
the knowledge of all those who had 
known and loved him in the flesh. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 27 



NOT all who seek shall find. An- 
tonio, or Anthony, was permitted 
to go to Morocco, where he hoped 
to end his days in an effort toward 
the conversion of the Moslems. What 
dreams were his! what hopes, what 
aspirations! He was now in very 
truth following in the footsteps of 
the five friars who were his first 
inspiration. He was in a land whose 
history was made glorious by Ter- 
tullian, St. Augustine, St. Fulgen- 
tius; great pontiffs and learned 
doctors. The day of its prosperity 
was over and gone. Its flourishing 
churches had fallen to decay, and 
the arrogance of the infidel made it 
unsafe for a Christian to pace the 
narrow streets of those white-walled 
cities unattended. 

28 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Under an ever-cloudless sky, in 
the glare of the fierce sunshine and 
the heat of the desert dust, Anthony 
was stricken down with fever. Fi- 
lippo of Spain, a young lay -brother 
who had attached himself to his 
person, watched with Anthony the 
whole winter. Not once did the 
would-be martyr have the oppor- 
tunity of exposing himself to the 
fury of the African fanatics. He 
was utterly prostrated; his life 
seemed to be slowly ebbing away. 
Evidently his efforts as a missioner 
in Morocco were doomed. The fact 
could not be kept a secret; and 
accordingly Anthony and Filippo 
were recalled to Portugal by their 
superiors, after an absence of but 
four months. 

They dutifully embarked, though 
their hearts were heavy with dis- 
appointment. The martyr's palm 
might wither in the desert; it was 
evidently not reserved for them. 
Neither were they destined to return 
to Portugal. A white squall struck 

The Wonder- Worker of Padua 29 

their vessel, and it was cast upon 
the Sicilian shore. Anthony and 
Filippo landed at Taormina, and at 
once made their way to Messina, 
where there was a convent of the 
Friars Minor. Here for two months 
the young friars reposed ; here health 
and strength returned to Anthony, 
and he entered upon a new lease of 
life. Here, in the convent garden, 
he planted a lemon tree that flour- 
ishes to this hour; for, like the 
orange tree planted by St. Dominic 
at Santa Sabina on the Aventine, 
time can not wither it; and every 
succeeding year bud, blossom and 
fruit give testimony of its eternal 

About this time the official notice 
of the convocation of the fourth 
general chapter of the Franciscan 
Order reached Messina. Anthony, 
Filippo, and certain of the Sicilian 
friars resolved to go to Assisi; and 
it was Anthony's desire to place 
himself at the disposal of the holy 
founder. In doing the will of St. 

jo The W onder-W orker of Padua 

Francis he felt that he could make 
no error; and that it was the provi- 
dence of God alone that had recalled 
him from Africa, shipwrecked him 
upon the Sicilian coast, and was 
now about to bring him into the 
presence of the seraphic Father 
whose child he had become. 

Having celebrated the Easter fes- 
tivities at Messina, Anthony, accom- 
panied by Filippo and the Sicilian 
frati, set forth on his pilgrimage to 

The Wonder- Worker of Padua 31 



THE fourth general chapter of the 
Franciscan Order opened at Porti- 
uncula on May 30, 1221. This 
chapter was a marvellous manifes- 
tation of the influence exercised by 
St. Francis over his followers. It 
was an all-powerful influence, and 
it was ever increasing; time alone 
was necessary to enable it to expand 
and spread unto the very ends of 
the earth. 

St. Francis, a year previous, had 
resigned his office of Minister-Gen- 
eral. He had, in a certain sense, 
completed his mission. His Order 
was well established, was in the 
most flourishing condition; recruits 
were constantly approaching him, 
and at his feet offering the labor 
of their lives. His wish was law: 

J2 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

no one questioned it. His will was 
their wisdom, his word was final. 
This stupendous organization, the 
inspiration and the accomplishment 
of one mind, had yet a price to be 
paid for it, and a high price it proved 
to be: it was no less than the life 
of the holy founder. 

Hoping to find a little much- 
needed rest, St. Francis shifted the 
burden of responsibility upon the 
shoulders of Peter of Catania; but 
the death of Peter within the year 
compelled the enfeebled Francis once 
more to assume the reins of govern- 
ment. He conferred upon Brother 
Elias the office of Vicar-General, 
and thus Brother Elias became the 
mouthpiece of the founder. He 
was literally a mouthpiece; for, 
owing to his physical debility, the 
voice of the Saint could scarcely 
be raised above a whisper. The 
voice of Elias was indeed as the 
voice of Francis, and was listened 
to by all in unquestioning silence 
and obedience. 

The W onder-W orker of Padua 33 

This is what Anthony beheld as 
he stood in the multitude assembled 
at Portiuncula: more than two 
thousand friars gathered together 
from every part of Europe. They 
were presided over by Cardinal Ra- 
nerio Capaccio; but St. Francis 
was the magnet that drew them 
thither, the power that swayed them 
as one man, whose burning and 
sole desire was to do the will of 
their seraphic Father. 

As the fruit of his husbandry, 
Francis could proudly point to Sil- 
vester the contemplative; Giles the 
ecstatic: Thomas of Celano, the 
noble singer of the Stabat Mater; 
John of Piana; Carpino, and many 
another, all these bearing the 
marks of suffering, but all brave 
and steadfast warriors for the faith. 
Here they were, bowing at the knee 
of the patriarch, humbly waiting 
his will. And he, pale and ema- 
ciated, sinking under a prostration 
that threatened to terminate his 
life at any moment, the patron of 

34 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

humility and zeal and love, when 
he, in a faint whisper, proposed a 
mission to Germany, eighty friars 
sprang to their feet and shouted 
with enthusiasm that they were 
ready to do his will there as any- 
where and everywhere. 

Unnoticed in this great throng, 
ravished by the spectacle of the 
Saint and his disciples, trembling 
with profound emotion, and faint 
for the fire of love that was consum- 
ing him, stood a youth of six and 
twenty, who was one day to become 
the most famous of the followers of 
St. Francis. Yet not one eye was 
turned upon him in kindness or in 
curiosity; not one word was spoken 
to him: he was utterly unnoticed 
and ignored. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 35 


ST. FRANCIS was wont to read the 
hearts and the consciences of his 
children, a gift that must have 
aided him often in their wise direc- 
tion. Were it not evidently pre- 
destined, it would be surprising that 
the Saint did not recognize in the 
youthful Anthony one who was anon 
to be all in all to him and to his 
holy Order. There he was, this 
giant in embryo, in the prime of 
life, singularly attractive to the eye, 
of fascinating manners, radiant with 
divine love, virtuous, valiant, face 
to face with the one who was most to 
influence him in life and he was 
suffered to pass by unnoticed. 

One thought was now uttermost 
in Anthony's mind. He could not 
again return to Portugal, that 
would seem like a step backward 

j6 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

and a sign of failure. He must 
abide near St. Francis. He felt 
that he could no longer live happily 
and holily apart from the seraphic 
one, who so powerfully influenced 
all those who were attracted to 
him. For this reason he offered him- 
self to the Provincials and Guardians 
of Italy. St. Francis, hearing of 
this, highly approved of the youth's 
renunciation of his family, his friends 
and his country; and recommended 
him to those who were in need of 
an assistant. 

His services were declined by all; 
he was not welcome and not wanted. 
In a great measure, he was himself 
the cause of his unsuccess; yet the 
wisdom or the unwisdom of his 
motive can no longer be questioned 
when we take into consideration the 
natural consequences thereof. 

With no affectation of humility, 
the young friar kept secret all 
knowledge of his past. He assumed 
an air that bordered on stupidity. 
It is hardly surprising that he was 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 37 

looked upon with disapproval by 
the masters of novices, who were 
accustomed critically to inspect such 
candidates as offered themselves 
from time to time at the novitiate. 
They did not for a moment suspect 
that he had talents and learning of 
of no mean order. 

He proffered his services as assist- 
ant in the kitchen; he volunteered 
to sweep the house well; he asked 
nothing more than to be allowed 
to do this for the love of God. 
Even here his hopes were for a 
season thwarted. His slight figure 
had not yet rounded after the 
ravages of fever; his face, naturally 
one of the most beautiful among 
men, was still drawn and pale. He 
did not look equal to the calls upon 
the convent drudge, and was un- 
ceremoniously dismissed. His early 
biographer, John Peckham, observes : 
"No Provincial thought of asking 
for him." He was deemed unfit for 
service of any kind. 

His case was beginning to grow 

38 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

desperate. What could he hope to 
do for the greater glory of God and 
the love of his fellowmen? Would 
no one take pity on him? Would 
no one give him some duty to per- 
form? In his extremity he drew 
Father Gratian, the Provincial of 
Bologna, aside and implored his 
aid. It chanced that Father Gratian 
was in need of a priest to say Mass 
at a small hospice, where six lay- 
brothers formed the community. 
"Are you a priest?" asked Father 
Gratian of the unpromising youth. 
"I am," replied Anthony. 

This seemed like a sad awakening 
from his dreams of the future. Not 
Africa, not martyrdom, apparently 
not Italy, could he claim for his 
portion; but Father Gratian, who 
must send a priest to the lay- 
brothers in their retreat, found him 
sufficient in an extremity ; and there- 
upon he was ordered away into 
the mountains to say Mass for the 
recluses in a very little house hidden 
in a lonely place. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 39 



FROM the very foundation of the 
Order, the Franciscans have pos- 
sessed two kinds of holy houses. 
There were the large convents, usu- 
ally erected in cities or their suburbs, 
where the friars diligently attended 
the many calls upon their time, 
sympathy and strength; and there 
were small convents, or hermitages, 
often hidden away in the fastnesses 
of the mountains or the forest. 

One of these minor houses was 
situated not far from Forli, upon 
the slopes of the Apennines. In 
all Tuscany there was not a more 
secluded spot. Monte Paolo was an 
ideal home for Anthony. Separated 
from the outer world by a far- 
spreading wood; walled in by rocky 

40 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

heights, where only the birds nested 
and the wild goat climbed; visited 
by heaven-sent zephyrs; nourished 
by the uncultivated fruits which 
nature so lavishly contributed; re- 
freshed by a delicious spring of 
crystal purity, that sweet solitude 
seemed indeed to the ill-judged 
and disappointed friar an earthly 

Here Anthony said Mass daily 
for the little company of brethren; 
here he begged leave to assist them 
in their labors, counting it a priv- 
ilege so to do. They allotted him 
his task, and he cheerfully accepted 
and performed it. They had not 
yet discovered that he was a man 
far their superior in all respects; 
for he became one with them one 
with them in spirit and in truth, 
but he was the holiest of them all. 

Within the grounds of the her- 
mitage at Monte Paolo was secreted 
a deep grotto ; and within the grotto 
a cell had been hewn out of the 
rock, and here Anthony found his 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 41 

perfect joy. One of the brethren 
had long used this cell as a storehouse 
for his tools, but he willingly sur- 
rendered it to Anthony when the 
latter ventured to ask if he might 
have the use of it; and there the 
friar passed most of his time. 

Nearly a year Anthony passed in 
the wilderness. His bed was straw; 
his pillow a stone; his food and 
drink a little bread and water. He 
mortified himself by fasting, took 
the discipline, and gladly endured 
other austerities and voluntary pains. 

During most of that year, so far 
as the Rule of the Order and the 
spirit of obedience permitted, he 
dwelt alone in his hollow rock. 
His time he passed in study, med- 
itation, and ever-ardent prayer. He 
translated the Psalms of David, en- 
riching them with notes and com- 
mentaries suitable for the use of 
preachers. Wittingly or unwittingly, 
he was preparing himself for a fresh 
field of labor; and perhaps nowhere 
else, outside of the desert itself, 

4-2 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

could he have found so suitable a 
time and place for just such 

From a cavern came St. Francis, 
St. Bernard, St. Norbert, and St. 
Benedict; it was fitting that he who 
was to become a saint as great, 
powerful and glorious as these should 
come also from a cavern. The 
Hermitage of Monte Paolo has been 
by old chroniclers compared to the 
cells of the solitaries of the Thebaid. 
Not a trace of the building itself 
remains, and more's the pity! In 
1629 Signor Paganelli erected an 
oratory near the grotto consecrated 
by the prayers and penances of 
Anthony, in gratitude for a miracu- 
lous recovery from illness obtained 
through his intercession. 

Emmanuel Azevedo, one of An- 
thony's biographers, upon visiting 
the spot, found, about half-way up 
the mountain, a limpid spring that 
was never known to become turbid, 
even in the time of rains, when all 
the neighboring springs were thick 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 43 

with mud. He was assured, not 
only by the peasants whose love for 
the Saint may have made them too 
credulous, but by resident priests- 
it was also the testimony of distin- 
guished travellers, that on Monte 
Paolo (better known as St. Anthony's 
Mountain), during the most violent 
tempests, when the neighboring 
heights were swept by furious winds 
and lashing rains, a calm as of a 
summer twilight prevailed; and that 
persons overtaken by the storm 
hastened to reach the favored spot, 
knowing full well that there they 
would be safe from harm lapped 
in an atmosphere as serene as the 
soul of the Saint. 

44 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



FOR a little time only was Anthony 
permitted to remain in comfortable 
and peaceful obscurity. Solitude 
and silence he always loved; but, 
alas! he was no longer to enjoy 
them uninterruptedly. In Ember 
week March 19, 1222, according 
to the historian Azzoguidi the cer- 
emony of ordination called to Forli 
a number of religious, both Friars 
Minor and Friar Preachers, who were 
to receive Holy Orders. Father 
Gratian and Anthony were also 
present, but neither in the least 
suspected the surprise that was in 
store for all. 

Father Gratian, who had not failed 
to note the edifying fervor of the 
young priest, as well as the gleams 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 45 

of uncommon intelligence which An- 
thony was not always able to dis- 
guise, was glad to have this oppor- 
tunity of calling the hermit to Monte 
Paolo from his vigils to attend the 
functions at Forli. Father Gratian 
had been requested by the bishop 
of the province to deliver to the 
candidates for ordination the cus- 
tomary address on the sublimity of 
the priestly office. This honor he 
courteously offered to the sons of 
St. Benedict many of whom were 
present; but they, being unpre- 
pared, refused to speak on so solemn 
an occasion. It began to look as 
if the ceremonies were likely to be 

Suddenly, as if by intuition, 
Father Gratian turned to Anthony 
and desired him to exhort the can- 
didates. The simplicity and beauty 
of his language and the grace of his 
manner were greatly in his favor; 
but he had never yet spoken in 
public, and since he had become a 
Friar Minor he had opened no book 

4<5 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

save only his breviary and the 
Psalms. Therefore he modestly 
pleaded his inexperience and his 
inability; he confessed that he was 
fitter to serve in the refectory than 
to preach to the learned who were 
present. He was covered with con- 
fusion, and heartily wished himself 
back again in his grotto at Monte 
Paolo. The superior was inflexible; 
and, rejecting all excuses, he directed 
Anthony to preach out of obedience, 
and gave him for a text: "Christ 
became for us obedient unto death, 
even the death of the Cross." 

The young priest arose, trembling 
with humility; in a low voice, the 
beauty of which had been often 
commented upon, he addressed the 
Franciscans and Dominicans, who 
were filled with curiosity and ex- 
pectation. As he proceeded, his 
voice gathered volume and his speech 
fire; his cheek flushed with fervor; 
his body swayed as a reed in the 
wind; his wrapped gaze seemed 
fixed upon a heaven invisible to 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 47 

others, and he spoke as one divinely 
inspired. His hour of triumph had 
come at last, unsought and uninvited. 

Is it any wonder that all present 
were astonished beyond measure, 
and that they looked upon this 
maiden effort of the novice as little 
short of miraculous? It is true that 
his whole life had been a kind of 
preparation for the pulpit, but an 
involuntary and unconscious one. 
His range of experience had been 
large; every emotion of the heart 
he had sounded to its depths; in 
his solitary hours of abstraction he 
had, in spirit, again and again 
communed with the martyrs of Mo- 
rocco and the Canons Regular of 
Coimbra. He was storm-tossed in 
the Mediterranean ; prostrated upon 
a bed of pain in Africa; an obscure 
and unobserved pilgrim at Assisi; 
an humble servitor and solitary at 
Monte Paolo. 

Now all returned to him like a 
flash in brilliant and luminous retro- 
spection; and with all else came 

48 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

knowledge a revival of knowl- 
edge, his knowledge of the Holy 
Scriptures and of the consecrated 
writings of the Fathers, together 
with his own voluminous comments 
thereon, and a world of wisdom 
withal, of wisdom not of this world 

In a torrent of eloquence that 
thrilled and amazed his listeners, 
he developed his discourse with the 
skill of a logician, the art of an 
orator, the charm of one predes- 
tined to the pulpit; and brought 
his last period to a conclusion amidst 
a chorus of enthusiastic approba- 
tion. On the instant he found him- 
self conspicuous in a life of public- 
ity, the life he had sought in vain 
to fly from. Now, in deed and in 
very truth, his inner life was ended: 
he was henceforth to be known as 
Anthony the Preacher. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 49 



THE Provincial of Romagna, who 
was present when Anthony delivered 
his first sermon, at once appointed 
the young apostle a preacher in his 
province; and St. Francis, hearing 
of the extraordinary effect produced 
by the sermon, not only confirmed 
the Provincial's appointment, but 
greatly enlarged Anthony's sphere 
of usefulness by giving him leave 
to preach anywhere and everywhere, 
whenever an opportunity offered. 
And yet to preach only was not his 

St. Francis desired that Anthony 
should apply himself to the study 
of theology, in order that he might 
speak with more confidence and 
authority, and likewise be able to 

50 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

instruct other of his brethren. 
Neither St. Francis nor any one 
else was aware of the nature and 
extent of Anthony's learning; and 
he was therefore sent to Vercelli to 
study theology in the Monastery 
of St. Andrew, of the Canons Reg- 
ular, then under the discipline of 
Abbot Thomas, the greatest living 
doctor in all Italy. Thomas was 
one of the Canons Regular whom 
Mgr. Sessa, Bishop of Vercelli, had 
called from the Monastery of St. 
Vincent of Paris to that of St. 
Andrew of Vercelli, on account of 
their many virtues and accomplish- 

We may readily imagine the rapid 
progress so holy a religious as An- 
thony must have made at St. 
Andrew's, he who had already en- 
joyed the hidden treasures of Heaven. 
A companion in his studies was 
Adam de Marisco, of Somerset, dio- 
cese of Bath, England; afterward 
Doctor of the University of Oxford, 
and finally Bishop of Ely, a man 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 51 

famous for piety and learning. These 
young men were received by Abbot 
Thomas with the utmost tenderness, 
and in them he found pupils de- 
voted to their studies, of intense 
application and surpassing intelli- 
gence. Anthony was still living 
under the rule of his Order; for 
St. Francis had obtained from the 
Bishop of Vercelli a convent situated 
near the ancient Church of St. 
Matthew; and here he dwelt, going 
at appointed hours to class at St. 

Franciscan historians assure us 
that, though Anthony applied him- 
self most diligently to his studies, 
he did not fail to preach the Lenten 
sermons in Milan and other places 
near at hand; and that on these 
occasions his lucid exposition of the 
Scriptures astonished and delighted 
his hearers. Even in the classroom 
he was a marvel. One of his teachers 
says that while explaining to his 
pupils a work on the ''Celestial 
Hierarchy," Anthony spoke concern- 

$2 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

ing the different orders of celestial 
spirits with great precision and won- 
derful intelligence; and it seemed 
to all who heard him as if he were 
in the very presence of that hierarchy. 

So rapid was Anthony's progress 
in his studies, so comprehensive his 
grasp, and so felicitous his treat- 
ment of every theme under con- 
sideration, that his classmates with 
one accord urgently begged that he 
would impart to them something of 
the knowledge that seemed his birth- 
right. He hesitated; they persist- 
ently implored. Anthony knew that 
the rule of the Order was founded 
upon poverty, humility, the scorn 
of all things worldly; and he feared 
that a show of learning might be 
considered scandalous rather than 
edifying. Holiness and humility 
come first of all; science and the 
polite accomplishments should follow 
in their course. 

That he might observe to the 
letter the holy rule and give no 
cause for scandal, Anthony wrote 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 55 

to St. Francis asking his will in the 
matter. Now, there is not the 
shadow of a doubt that St. Francis 
had the good the best good of the 
Order at heart; that for this reason 
he desired gradually to work certain 
reforms; that he feared a tendency 
on the part of his followers to an 
over-interest in the affairs of this 
life to the neglect of those of the 
life which is to come. So he wrote 
to Anthony. The letter has for- 
tunately been preserved in "The 
Chronicles of the Twenty-Four Gen- 
erals." It runs as follows: 

"To his dear Brother Anthony, 
Brother Francis sends greeting in 
the Lord. 

"It is my wish that thou teach 
the brethren sacred theology; yet 
in such a manner as not to extin- 
guish in thyself and others the 
spirit of prayer and devotion, accord- 
ing as it is prescribed in the rule. 

: 'The Lord spare thee! 


Thus was Anthony chosen by the 

54 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

patriarch of Assisi to depart into 
Bologna and there assume the office 
of Lector of Theology. Unhappily, 
no notes of his lectures then and 
there delivered have been preserved 
to us; but from his "Commentary 
on the Psalms" we can judge of 
the spirit that pervaded them. Be- 
cause of the nature of this spirit 
there have been those of his brother- 
hood who have assured themselves 
that Anthony was the author of 
"The Imitation of Christ." The 
authorship of that inspiring work 
has long been a vexed question; 
but Francis Richard Cruise, M. D., 
in his ingenious and exhaustive work 
on "Thomas a Kempis,"* seems to 
have finally settled it. 

In his lectures Anthony avoided 
dry speculation; he brought youth- 
ful enthusiasm, coupled with the 
purest and loftiest mysticism, to 
bear upon the minds and hearts of 
his pupils. "To know, to love!" 
this was his teaching. To know, so 

*~~London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1887. 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 55 

that one may love highly and holily ; 
to love, so that one may acquire 
the knowledge that is born of ardor, 
devotion, self-sacrifice, singleness of 
purpose the flower and the fruit 
of love. 

56 The W onder-W orker of Padua 



ST. FRANCIS was the inspirer and 
St. Bonaventure the most illustrious 
representative of the mystic school 
of theology; but Thomas Gallo, 
Pope Gregory IX., and St. Bona- 
venture himself, have styled An- 
thony the father of the school. 

Many were the titles conferred 
upon the inspired gospeller. Cardi- 
nal Guy de Montfort, being danger- 
ously ill, was miraculously healed 
through the intercession of St. An- 
thony; and he therefore made a 
pilgrimage to the tomb of the Saint 
at Padua, and left at that shrine 
a splendid reliquary, embellished 
with verses wherein the Saint is 
hailed as the "star of Spain, pearl 
of poverty, father of science, model 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 57 

of purity, light of Italy, doctor of 
divine truth, and glory of Padua." 
This father of mystic theology 
and founder of the mystic school 
of the Middle Ages was from the 
very beginning a wonder-worker. 
His preaching was nearly always 
confirmed by miracles; the very 
sermon itself was in some senses 
miraculous. He must have pos- 
sessed the gift of tongues. While 
in Italy he preached in Italian; yet 
all the knowledge he possessed of 
that mellifluous tongue he got during 
his brief intercourse with the six 
illiterate lay-brothers at the hos- 
pice in the solitude of Monte Paolo. 
While in France he preached in 
French, though he had never studied 
the language. Perhaps more remark- 
able still is the fact that the simple- 
minded and the most ignorant lis- 
teners were capable of fully compre- 
hending all he said; and his voice , 
though gentle and sweet, was dis- 
tinctly heard at a very extraordinary 
distance from the speaker. 

5# The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

In that charming volume, "The 
Little Flowers of St. Francis," it is 
quaintly recorded: "That marvel- 
lous vessel of the Holy Ghost, St. 
Anthony of Padua, one of the 
chosen disciples and companions of 
St. Francis, who was called of St. 
Francis his Vicar, once preached in 
the Consistory before the Pope and 
his Cardinals; in which Consistory 
there were men of divers nations 
namely, Greeks, Latins, French, 
Germans, Slavs, and English, and 
men speaking other divers tongues. 
Fired by the Holy Ghost, so effica- 
ciously, so devoutly, so subtly, so 
sweetly, so clearly, and so plainly, 
did Anthony set forth the word of 
God, that all they which were 
present at the Consistory, of what- 
soever divers tongues they were, 
clearly understood all his words 
distinctly, even as he had spoken 
in the language of each man among 
them. And they all were struck 
dumb with amaze; and it seemed 
as if that ancient miracle of the 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 59 

Apostles had been renewed, when at 
the time of the Pentecost they spoke 
by virtue of the Holy Ghost in every 
tongue. And they said one to 
another, with admiration and awe: 
'Is not he who preaches come out 
of Spain? And how do we hear in 
his discourse every man of us the 
speech of his own land?' Likewise 
the Pope, considering and marvel- 
ling at the profundity of his words, 
said: 'Verily, this man is the Ark 
of the Covenant and the vehicle 
of the Holy Ghost/' 

Anthony appeared in a most 
opportune moment. The Church 
was sorely in need of him. St. 
Dominic had gone to his reward; 
the labors of St. Francis were at 
an end: he could only guide and 
encourage by his advice and his 
approval; and, at intervals, instil 
new life into his children and confer 
a benediction upon them by appear- 
ing, if but for a moment, in their 
midst. The honor and the glory 
that had been shared by St. Francis 

60 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

and St. Dominic were his now; for 
to Anthony fell the lot of continuing 
the work of these two illustrious 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 61 



WHEN Anthony girded on his 
armor and went forth to fight the 
good fight, the affairs of Europe, 
especially the religious affairs, were 
in a sad state. Heresy was rife. 
These heretics, known as Partorini, 
Cathari, Waldenses, Albigenses, and 
others almost too numerous to 
mention, were more or less united 
in an attempted revival of Maniche- 
ism; for the most part they taught 
the eternal existence of the principal 
of evil, denied the responsibility of 
the rational creature, recognized 
fatalism, and advocated the right 
of rebellion. 

The secret societies, wherein the 
Jew was a rank element, had for 
their maxim: Jura, per jura, secre- 
tum pander e noli. " Swear and for- 

62 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

swear thyself, provided thou keep 
the secret." Their cry was: "Down 
with the Pope! Death to the Cath- 
olic Church!" 

That was a sorry time. In his 
"History of France," Michelet says: 
"This Judea of France, as Lan- 
guedoc has been called, was not 
only remarkable, like ancient Judea, 
for its bituminous pits and olive 
groves: it also had its Sodoms and 

"Italy," says the old Franciscan 
chronicle, "was all overturned and 
filled with confusion by all the other 
nations, who came in to blooden 
their barbarous swords in her body; 
invited so to do by the Italians 
themselves, who called them in to 
take part in their intestine feuds, 
and who were all to be in the event 
their prey as it turned out. And 
thus very soon there not only failed 
among them those sweet manners 
which used to make the Italians 
like to angels on earth, and placed 
them above all nations in courtesy 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 63 

and charity; but there died away 
also in them that blessed faith, for 
the love of which they had re- 
nounced the empire of the world, 
placing their necks under the most 
sweet yoke of Christ and of His 
Holy Roman Catholic Church. And 
as it happens so often that people 
take their customs from the com- 
pany they keep, even the Italians 
drank of that horrible chalice of 
heresy and abomination; and, owing 
to license of life, which was then 
at its highest point, heretics began 
to multiply in that land." 

Anthony seemed to have been 
singled out by Divine Providence 
to combat the prevailing evils of 
his time; to have had all his own 
sweet dreams, high hopes, and noble 
aspirations thwarted; to have been 
kept in the background, a silent, 
unknown man, until the moment 
when he was called to the front, to 
battle and to victory; for he 
achieved what perhaps he alone of 
all men could have achieved a 

6 4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

glorious and triumphant victory. 
How well he knew the nature and 
the requirements of his sacred office ! 
He said: 

"It behooves a preacher to lead 
on earth a heavenly life, in keeping 
with the truths he is charged to 
announce to the people. His con- 
versation should only be concerning 
holy things ; and his endeavors must 
tend to but one end the salvation 
of souls. It is his duty to raise up 
the fallen, to console them that 
weep, to distribute the treasures 
of divine grace as the clouds send 
down their refreshing showers. And 
all this must he do with perfect 
humility and absolute disinterested- 
ness. Prayer must be his chief 
delight; and the remembrance of 
the bitter Passion of Christ must 
ever accompany him, whether in 
joy or adversity. If he acts in this 
wise, the word of God, the word of 
peace and life, of grace and truth, 
will descend upon and flood him 
with its dazzling light." 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 65 

He not only preached, he prac- 
tised what he preached. The serenity 
and beauty of his countenance, the 
gentleness and meekness of his de- 
meanor, were an example a living 
and a lasting sermon unto all. 
Having once asked one of the 
brethren to go with him while he 
preached, the two went forth, and 
by and by returned, Anthony not 
having uttered a word during all 
the time. The Brother, turning to 
him, said:. "Why have you not 
preached ? ' ' And Anthony answered : 
u We have preached: our modest 
looks and the gravity of our behavior 
are as a sermon unto those who 
have followed us with their eyes." 

He was absolutely without fear, 
and proved it on many occasions. 
Ezzelino of Treviso, having placed 
himself at the head of a party of 
Ghibellines, made himself master of 
Verona, Padua, and indeed most 
of the cities in Lombardy. For 
forty years this tyrant ruled there, 
and his bloody and horrible reign 

66 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

terrorized the people. He defied 
the anathemas of Popes Gregory 
IX., Innocent IV., and Alexander 
IV. Hearing that the long-suffering 
Paduans had revolted, he put to 
death in one day twelve thousand of 
the citizens. 

Ezzelino lived at Verona. The 
horror of his presence had caused 
the Veronese to fly, and the city 
was nearly depopulated. Armed 
guards, as savage as their master, 
patrolled the almost deserted streets. 
Anthony, going alone to Verona, 
sought audience of this monster. 
He entered the palace of Ezzelino 
and was conducted to the audience- 
chamber, where sat the bloodthirsty 
one upon a throne surrounded by 
his murderous troops. At a word 
from Ezzelino these human tigers 
would have fallen upon the defence- 
less Anthony and rent him limb 
from limb. 

Anthony, undismayed, at once 
addressed the tyrant; assuring him 
that his plunderings, his sacrileges, 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 67 

were as a myriad tongues crying to 
Heaven for vengeance; and that 
his innumerable victims were living 
witnesses before God against him. 
The ferocious guards stood ready 
to spring upon the accuser; they 
awaited only the word. What was 
their astonishment when they saw 
merciless Ezzelino, pale and trem- 
bling, descending from his throne, 
and, putting a girdle about his neck 
for a halter, prostrating himself at 
the feet of Anthony, tearfully im- 
ploring him to intercede with God 
for the pardon of his sins! 

When Anthony had departed, 
turning to his soldiers, Ezzelino 
said: "Be not astonished at my 
sudden change. I will tell you the 
truth. While Anthony was reproach- 
ing me I saw in his countenance a 
divine splendor; and I was so ter- 
rified that, if I had dared to take 
vengeance, I believe that I would 
have been suddenly carried off by 
demons and cast into hell." 

Some time afterward Ezzelino,. 

68 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

wishing to test Anthony and see if 
he were really more than human, 
sent him a costly gift. The gift- 
bearers were cautioned to press the 
treasure upon Anthony; but if he 
accepted it, they were to slay him 
at once; if he declined it, they were 
to come away and use no violence. 
These orders were obeyed. Bowing 
before the friar, they said: "Your 
faithful son Ezzelino has sent us to 
you. He earnestly recommends him- 
self to your prayers, and beseeches 
you to accept this gift we offer 

Anthony of course declined it, 
and begged that they would return 
to their master and say to him that 
it was God's wish that he should 
restore unto the impoverished whom 
he had laid waste, all that he had 
cruelly wrested from them; and 
that he should make this reparation 
before it was too late. With shame, 
they withdrew from the presence of 
the friar; and when they had re- 
ported to Ezzelino all that had 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 69 

passed between them, he replied, 
thoughtfully: "It is well. This is 
truly a man of God. Leave him in 
peace. I care not what he says of 

For a considerable period after 
this Ezzelino showed a disposition 
to mend his ways: he was less 
cruel, less bloodthirsty, a little more 
considerate of the rights and the 
feelings of his subjects. But after 
the death of Anthony he relapsed 
into his former mood, was in 1259 
taken prisoner by the Confederate 
princes of Lombardy, and perished 
miserably in close confinement. 

Anthony's success as a preacher 
was phenomenal and unparalleled. 
That fine old chronicler, John Peck- 
ham, says of it: 

"From all parts of the city and its 
neighboring villages people flocked 
in crowds to hear the sermons of the 
great Franciscan. The law courts 
were closed, business was suspended, 
labor interrupted. All life and move- 
ment were concentrated at one 

70 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

point the sermons and instructions 
of the mighty wonder-worker. Soon 
the churches could not contain the 
audiences: he had to preach in 
the open air. The plant, dried up by 
the heat of the sun, thirsts for the 
dew of the early morn; more lively 
and impatient was the desire of the 
Paduans for the coming dawn and 
the hour for which the conferences 
were announced. From midnight 
the city was in motion. Knights 
and great ladies, preceded by lighted 
torches, pressed round the tempo- 
rary pulpit. A motley multitude 
covered the plain; while the bishop, 
accompanied by his clergy, presided 
at the services. The numbers often 
reached thirty thousand. 

"At the hour fixed Anthony would 
appear, in outward demeanor modest 
and recollect ive, his heart burning 
with love. All eyes were fixed upon 
him; and when he began to speak, 
the crowds, hushed into silence, 
listened to his words with an im- 
movable attention. At the conclu- 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 77 

sion of the discourse the enthusiasm 
of his hearers could not be contained : 
it burst forth in sobs, shouts of 
joy or applause, according to its 
effect upon each listener. The crowd 
would rush upon the Saint. Each 
one wished to see him closer, to 
kiss the hem of his habit, or his 
crucifix; some even went so far 
as to cut bits of cloth from his 
habit, to keep as relics. A body- 
guard of young men kept near him, 
to prevent his being crushed by 
his admirers. 

"But the most admirable effects 
he achieved were the following: 
Enmities were appeased, and con- 
tending families publicly reconciled; 
usurers and thieves made restitu- 
tion of their ill-gotten goods; great 
sinners struck their breasts in humble 
repentance; abandoned women fled 
from the haunts of vice and gave 
themselves up to penance. The con- 
fessionals were besieged; vice dis- 
appeared, virtue revived ; and within 
the space of a month the aspect 

f2 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

of the ancient city [of Padua] was 

Having entered the campaign, 
which proved a veritable holy war, 
within three months he became 
known to all as Anthony the Ham- 
mer of Heretics. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 73 



THE secret of Anthony's marvellous 
success we do not know; one may 
have thought it his voice, another 
his manner, and yet another his 
beautiful countenance. His piety, 
his fervor, his persuasive eloquence 
were all important aids; yet, per- 
haps, these alone might not have 
swayed the masses as he swayed 
them. He was master of the situ- 
ation: alone, unrivalled in a word, 
he was altogether irresistible. 

It is a marvel that we know so 
little of one so great. One of the 
most conspicuous figures of his time, 
he is yet but as a shadow in the 
history of that time or, rather, as 
a bright and shining light; illusive, 

74 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

like a Will-o'-the-wisp; startling 
and evasive, like the meteor. The 
truth is, he was not of this world. 

The details of his life are scanty. 
Some one in the fourteenth century 
cried out, almost in despair: "We 
know not half of the beautiful actions 
of our hero! Most of them have 
been allowed to fall into oblivion, 
either by reason of the deplorable 
carelessness of his first biographers 
or through lack of authentic docu- 
ments. " This is the more surprising 
when w^e find the little testimony 
that is preserved to us aglow with 
almost boundless enthusiasm. In 
the Lucerne manuscript, "St. An- 
toine," Pere Hilaire observes: 

"His soul was like a fair garden 
fertilized by the showers of divine 
grace, where bloomed the sweetest 
flowers of Heaven, spreading around 
their fragrant odor. These flowers 
were meekness and humility, poverty 
and penance, fervor and zeal, wis- 
dom and prudence. Beyond all 
praise were his eloquence, the grace- 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 75 

fulness of his manners, his nobility 
of character, his gentleness and kind- 
ness. Whether in the pulpit or the 
confessional, with the clergy or laity, 
he everywhere and at all times 
evinced that spirit of prudence which 
gives the golden mean to all the 
virtues, and exhibited that utter 
forgetfulness of self which won him 
the love of all. In a word, he was 
indeed the beloved of God and men." 
When Anthony went to Limoges, 
in 1226, he preached in the cemetery 
of St. Paul's Church, probably on 
All Souls' Day. A Benedictine 
writer has preserved the beautiful 
text, which was taken from the 
sixth verse of Psalm xxix: "In the 
evening weeping shall have place, 
and in the morning gladness." A 
brief exposition of the text has been 
found among his notes most likely 
a synopsis of this sermon. "There 
is a threefold evening and a three- 
fold morning," he says; "a three- 
fold weeping and a threefold glad- 
ness. The threefold evening is, first, 

7 6 The Wonder- Worker of Padua 

the sad evening of the fall of our 
first parents in Paradise; second, 
the sad evening of the passion and 
death of our Redeemer; and third, 
the sad evening of our own fast- 
approaching death. The threefold 
morning is, first, the glad morning 
of the birth of the Messias; second, 
the glad morning of the Lord's 
Resurrection; and third, the glad 
morning of our own future resurrec- 
tion." Conceive what an effect this 
sermon must have produced as it 
fell from those inspired lips upon 
the ears of the mourners among the 
graves ! 

On the day following his address 
in the cemetery, Anthony preached 
in a Franciscan abbey, not far from 
the Church of St. Paul; and his 
notes of this sermon on the monastic 
life, happily preserved to us, are 
so full we gain from them a pretty 
clear idea of his treatment of a 
theme. On the text, "Who will 
give me wings like a dove, and I 
will fly and be at rest?" he says: 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 77 

"Such is the cry of a soul that is 
weary of this world and longs for 
the solitude and peace of the cloister 
life. It was of the religious life 
that Jeremias spoke when he said: 
'Leave the cities, and dwell in the 
rock, you that dwell in Moab; and 
be ye like the dove that maketh her 
nest in the mouth of the hole in the 
highest place.' 'Leave the cities' 
the sins and vices which dishonor, 
the tumult which prevents the soul 
from rising to God, and often even 
from thinking of Him. 'Leave the 
cities' ; for it is written : ' I have seen 
iniquity and contradiction in the 
city. Day and night shall iniquity 
surround it upon its walls; and in 
the midst thereof are labor and 
injustice. And usury and deceits 
have not departed from its streets/ 
There is to be found iniquity against 
God and man ; contradiction against 
the preacher of truth; labor in the 
ambitious cares of the world, in- 
justice in its dealings, knavery and 
usury in its business transactions. 

7 '8 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

'Ye that dwell in Moab/ that is, 
in the world, which is seated in 
pride as the city of Moab. All is 
pride in the world, pride of the 
intellect, which refuses to humble 
itself before God; pride of the will, 
which refuses to submit to the will 
of God; pride of the senses, which 
rebel against reason and dominate 
it. ... 

"But to leave the world, to live 
remote from the tumult of cities, 
to keep one's self unspotted from 
their vices, is not sufficient for the 
religious soul. Hence the prophet 
adds: 'Dwell in the rock.' Now, 
this rock is Jesus Christ. Establish 
yourself in Him; let Him be the 
constant theme of your thoughts, 
the object of your affections. Jacob 
reposed upon a stone in the wilder- 
ness; and while he slept he saw 
the heavens opened, and conversed 
with angels, receiving a blessing 
from the Lord. Thus will it be 
with those who place their entire 
trust in Jesus Christ. They will be 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 79 

favored with heavenly visions; they 
will live in the company of angels; 
they will be blessed as Jacob was, 
4 to the north and south, to the 
east and west/ To the north, which 
is the divine breath mortifying the 
flesh and its concupiscences; to the 
east, which is the light of faith and 
the merit of good works; to the 
south, which is the full meridian 
splendor of wisdom and charity; to 
the west, which is the burial of 
the old man with his vices. But as 
to the soul which does not repose 
upon this rock, it can not expect 
to be blessed by the Lord. 

"'And be ye like the dove that 
maketh her nest in the mouth of 
the hole in the highest place/ If 
Jesus Christ is the rock, the hole of 
the rock, in which the religious soul 
is to seek shelter and take up her 
abode, is the wound in the side of 
Jesus Christ. This is the safe harbor 
of refuge to which the Divine Spouse 
calls the religious soul when He 
speaks to her in the words of the 

8o The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Canticle : 'Arise, my love, my beauti- 
ful one, and come! . . . My dove in 
the clifts of the rock, in the hollow 
places of the wall/ The Divine 
Spouse speaks of the numberless 
clifts of the rock, but He also speaks 
of the deep hollow. There were 
indeed in His Body numberless 
wounds and one deep wound in 
His side; this leads to His Heart, 
and it is hither He calls the soul 
He has espoused. To her He extends 
His arms; to her He opens wide 
His sacred side and Divine Heart, 
that she may come and hide therein. 
"By retiring into the clifts of 
the rock, the dove is safe from the 
pursuit of the birds of prey; and 
at the same time she prepares for 
herself a quiet refuge, where she 
may calmly repose and coo in peace. 
So the religious soul finds in the 
Heart of Jesus a secure refuge 
against the wiles and attacks of 
Satan, and a delightful retreat. But 
we must not rest merely at the 
entrance to the hole in the rock: 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 81 

we must penetrate its depths. At 
the mouth of the deep hollow at 
the mouth of the wound in His 
side we shall indeed find the 
Precious Blood which has redeemed 
us. This Blood pleads for us and 
demands mercy for us. But the 
religious soul must not stay at the 
entrance. When she has heard and 
understood the voice of the Divine 
Blood, she must hasten to the very 
source from which it springs into 
the very innermost sanctuary of 
the Heart of Jesus. There she will 
find light, peace, and ineffable 

"'And be ye like the dove that 
maketh her nest in the deep hollow 
of the rock.' The dove builds her 
nest with little pieces of straw she 
gathers up here and there. How are 
we to build up an abode in the 
Heart of Jesus? This Divine Saviour, 
who so mercifully gives us the place 
wherein we are to make our abode, 
furnishes us at the same time with 
the materials wherewith to construct 

82 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

it. O religious soul, dove beloved 
of Christ, behold those little pieces 
of straw which the world tramples 
under its feet ! They are the virtues 
practised by thy Saviour and thy 
Spouse, of which He Himself has 
set thee an example humility, 
meekness, poverty, penance, patience, 
and mortification. The world de- 
spises them as useless pieces of 
straw; nevertheless, they will be for 
thee the material wherewith to con- 
struct thy dwelling-place forever in 
the profound hollow of the rock- 
in the Heart of Jesus." 

Thus Anthony preached to thou- 
sands and tens of thousands. And 
they followed him when he had 
finished speaking ; for it seemed that 
they could never have enough of 
him. It was his custom to preface 
his sermons with this prayer, which 
he himself composed: 

"O Light of the world, Infinite 
God, Father of eternity, Giver of 
wisdom and knowledge, and ineffable 
Dispenser of every spiritual grace; 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 83 

who knowest all things before they 
are made, who makest the darkness 
and the light: put forth Thy hand 
and touch my mouth, and make it as 
a sharp sword to utter eloquently 
Thy words. Make my tongue, O 
Lord! as a chosen arrow, to declare 
faithfully Thy wonders. Put Thy 
spirit, O Lord! in my heart, that I 
may perceive; in my soul, that I 
may retain; and in my conscience, 
that I may meditate. Do Thou 
lovingly, holily, mercifully, clem- 
ently and gently inspire me with 
Thy grace. Do Thou teach, guide 
and strengthen the comings in and 
goings out of my senses and my 
thoughts. And let Thy discipline 
instruct me even to the end, and 
the counsel of the Most High help 
me, through Thine infinite wisdom 
and mercy. Amen." 

So shone this light, with a glow 
as of fire from heaven, in the so- 
called Dark Ages. 

8 '4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



THAT miracles have occurred, and 
are occurring even in our own day, 
there is no shadow of doubt. What 
is a miracle? According to Worcester 
a miracle is "an effect of which the 
antecedent can not be referred to 
any secondary cause; an event or 
occurrence which can not be ex- 
plained by any known law of nature ; 
a deviation from the established law 
of nature ; something not only super- 
human, but preternatural; a prod- 
igy, a wonder, a marvel." 

Thousands of eye-witnesses bore 
testimony in their day to the wonders 
worked by Anthony in France and 
Italy. It would seem that his fame 
must have preceded him, and that 
wherever he went his approach must 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 6*5 

have been heralded and his appear- 
ance hailed with enthusiasm by 
expectant and animated throngs. 
This was not the case. Obedient 
to the voice of his superiors, he went 
wheresoever he was bidden; went 
alone and unannounced; a stranger 
in a strange land, unrecognized of 
any until he had lifted that voice 
whose persuasive eloquence no one 
was long able to withstand. Then 
came his triumph, complete and 
overwhelming. Triumph followed 
upon triumph, until at last the land 
rang with his praises. On every 
hand he gave abundant proof of 
the divine power which he was 
called upon to exercise. Following 
in the footsteps of his Blessed Mas- 
ter, he healed the sick, raised the 
dead, and wakened the living to 
life everlasting. 

Preaching once upon a time in 
the pulpit of the Church of St. 
Eusebius in Vicelli a small Italian 
city, then an independent republic, 
like many another city of that 

86 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

day, vast crowds pressed about 
him. Suddenly a great commotion 
arose. With difficulty a grief -stricken 
family bore toward him the body 
of one of their number, cut down 
in the prime of life. A great wail 
went up from the people. Anthony 
paused in his discourse, profoundly 
moved. Recollecting himself, he ex- 
tended his hand toward the body 
and cried: "In the name of Christ 
I say unto you, young man, arise!" 
And immediately the youth arose 
from the dead, full of joy, restored 
to health and to the arms of those 
who had bewailed him. 

Great is the number and the 
variety of the wonders worked by 
Anthony. Here are a few of them 
taken at random from the pages 
of his several chroniclers. 

He was preaching in the cathedral 
at Montpellier, in the presence of 
the clergy and a vast multitude. It 
was Easter Sunday. In the midst 
of his discourse he suddenly remem- 
bered that he had been appointed 

The W onder-W orker of Padua 87 

to sing at Solemn High Mass in 
the choir of a neighboring convent 
chapel. He had forgotten this; he 
had even forgotten to find a sub- 
stitute, and the hour of the Mass 
was at hand. This seemed to him 
an act of disobedience; and, in his 
distress, he drew his cowl over his 
face, sank back in the pulpit and 
remained silent for a long time. The 
people, in amazement, watched and 
waited. At the moment when he 
ceased speaking in the cathedral, 
though all the while visible to the 
congregation, he appeared in the 
convent choir among his brethren 
and sang his office. At the close 
of the service he recovered himself 
in the pulpit of the cathedral, and, 
as his chronicler says, finished his 
sermon "with incomparable elo- 

Anthony had completed his ' ' Com- 
mentary on the Psalms," the fruit 
of long vigilance and profound med- 
itation. A novice, weary of the 
religious life and its ceaseless auster- 

88 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

ities, resolved to return to the world, 
and, coveting Anthony's precious 
manuscript, he captured it and fled. 
The young rascal could have had 
no sense of humor, or he would 
hardly have turned his back upon 
the cloister and sought the mixed 
society of the world, the flesh and 
the devil with a stolen copy of a 
"Commentary on the Psalms" as 
his companion. Probably he hoped 
to profit by it in a worldly way; 
but in this he was strangely thwarted. 
Upon discovering his loss, Anthony 
had, as ever, recourse to prayer. 
At that very moment the fleeing 
youth was confronted by a monstrous 
creature, that ordered him to return 
at once to the abbey and restore 
the " Commentary " to its author. 
This he was now only too glad to 
do. And the Saint, rejoiced at the 
recovery of his manuscript, as well 
as of the soul that was in peril, 
received the novice with every mark 
of affection. Nor was his loving- 
kindness ill bestowed; for the lad 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 89 

became one of the most favored of 
the faithful. 

As St. Francis hushed the carolling 
birds in the Venetian lagoon, say- 
ing, " Cease your singing a little 
while until we have rendered to 
God our homage of praise," so 
Anthony rebuked the clamoring frogs 
in a noisy pool at the Convent of 
Montpellier, and they thereafter ob- 
served a respectable silence at the 
hours of prayer. 

At Puy-en-Velay he converted a 
notary of dissolute habits and violent 
temper. When they met in the 
streets Anthony would bow to the 
notary, and the latter would fly 
into a rage, believing that he was 
in mockery. Still Anthony saluted 
him reverently and more rever- 
ently; whereupon the notary cried, 
in a fury: "What does this mean? 
But for fear of the anger of 
God I would run you through 
with my sword." Then Anthony 
replied, with perfect composure : U O 
my brother! you do not know the 

po The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

honor in store for you. I envy your 
happiness. I longed for the martyr's 
palm: the Lord denied it to me, 
but He has revealed to me that 
this grace is reserved for you. When 
that blessed hour arrives, be mind- 
ful, I beseech you, of him who 
foretold it to you." And it came to 
pass even as it had been predicted. 

To a lady of rank who recom- 
mended herself to his prayers, An- 
thony said: "Be of good heart, my 
daughter, and rejoice; for the Lord 
will give you a son who, as a Friar 
Minor and a martyr, will shed lustre 
upon the Church." This prediction 
was likewise fulfilled. 

Many he delivered from sore temp- 
tations, and they were never again 
persecuted. To a poor sinner, over- 
whelmed with sorrow, who could 
find no voice with which to confess 
himself, Anthony said: "Go write 
down your sins, and bring me the 
parchment." The penitent did as 
he was bidden, returning with a 
tear-stained scroll. As he read out 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 91 

his sins one after the other, each 
disappeared from the parchment; 
and, having reached the last of 
these, lo! the scroll was spotless. 

At St. Junien, Anthony, who was 
about to address the public, pre- 
dicted that the platform which had 
been erected for his use would 
collapse, but that no one would be 
injured. The fact was speedily 

One day, preaching to a great 
multitude in a large square in the 
city of Limoges, France, a violent 
storm gathered and filled the people 
with terror. They began to disperse 
in haste, when Anthony said : " Fear 
not: the storm will pass you by." 
So they remained; and, though the 
city was deluged, not a drop of 
rain fell in the square where Anthony 
was preaching. 

At Brive the Saint established a 
little hermitage similar to the one 
at Monte Paolo. Postulants joined 
him, seeking solitude and poverty. 
On one occasion, when they were 

p2 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

in distress, a much-needed alms 
was sent them by a lady to whom 
they had reluctantly applied for 
aid. The lady's servant carried the 
gift to them through a severe storm ; 
yet going and coming the servant 
walked dry-shod, and not one drop 
of water from the pouring clouds 
fell upon her. 

One evening his companions at 
the hospice saw a band of marauders 
despoiling the field of one of the 
benefactors of the little community, 
and they hastened to complain to 
Anthony. "Fear not," said he. " 'Tis 
but an artifice of the Evil One to 
distract you." On the morrow they 
found that the field had been 

The Cathari of Rimini invited the 
Saint to a feast of poisons. His 
astounding success in bringing wan- 
derers back to the fold filled them 
with hatred of him. He knew at 
once that a snare had been laid for 
him by the Cathari, and denounced 
them openly; thereupon they said 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 93 

to him: "Either you believe the 
words of the Gospel or you do not. 
If you believe them, why hesitate 
to eat? Is it not written, 'In My 
name they shall cast out devils; 
they shall handle serpents; and if 
they shall drink any deadly thing, 
it shall not hurt them'? If you do 
not believe the Gospel to be true, 
why do you preach it? Take, there- 
fore, and eat. If you go unhurt, 
we swear to embrace the Catholic 
faith." Blessing the viands, the 
servant of God ate and was un- 
harmed; and all those who beheld 
the miracle returned into the fold. 

Paralysis and epilepsy he cured 
with the Sign of the Cross. 

At Gemona, near Udine, where he 
was erecting a small convent on the 
model of the Portiuncula, he one 
day hailed a peasant who was passing 
with an ox team, and begged that 
a load of bricks might be brought 
him. The peasant, not knowing 
who addressed him, and not caring 
to be pressed into Anthony's service, 

P4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

said: "I can not help you, for I 
am carrying a corpse." The truth 
is, the peasant's son lay sleeping 
in the bottom of the cart. When 
the peasant, a little later, attempted 
to waken the boy so as to tell him 
how he had fooled the friar, he 
found that his son was dead. Then 
he ran to Anthony and implored 
him to restore the life of the boy; 
and Anthony making the Sign of 
the Cross over the body, the youth 
arose and blessed him. 

Often, under the influence of his 
exhortations, penitents were moved 
to tears and convulsive sobs. To 
such he would say to quote from 
his notes : ' ' Poor sinner, why despair 
of thy salvation, since all here speaks 
of mercy and of love? Behold the 
two advocates who plead thy cause 
before the tribunal of Divine Justice : 
a Mother and a Redeemer, Mary, 
who presents to her Son her heart 
transfixed with the sword of sorrow; 
Jesus, who presents to His Father 
the wounds in His feet and hands, 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 95 

and His Heart pierced by the 
soldier's lance. Take courage; with 
such a mediator, with such an inter- 
cessor, Divine Mercy can not reject 

Who could resist this appeal, or 
fail to find strength and consola- 
tion in it? 

9 6 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



AGAIN I return to that garden 
of delights, "The Little Flowers of 
St. Francis." So delicate, so dainty, 
so fragrant are these flowers one 
can not pass them by unnoticed. 
The lips of the devout fashioned 
them, and for two centuries they 
blossomed wherever the lovers of 
the Saint were gathered together; 
then they were carefully culled and 
brought from near and far; and a 
bouquet was made of them, and it 
was called "The Little Flowers of 
St. Francis. " 

Therein we find that " our Blessed 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, de- 
siring to set forth the great sanctity 
of His most faithful servant, St. 
Anthony, how devout a thing it 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 97 

was to hear his preaching and his 
holy doctrines, He reproved the 
folly of heretics and infidels through 
unreasoning beasts notably the 
fishes, as of old in the Bible He 
chid the ignorance of Balaam through 
the mouth of the ass. Hence St. 
Anthony being at Rimini, where 
there was a great multitude of 
heretics, desiring to bring them back 
to the light of the true faith and 
to the ways of virtue, for many days 
did preach and set forth to them 
the faith of Christ and of the Holy 
Scriptures. But they, not only con- 
senting not to his holy words, but 
even, like hardened and obstinate 
sinners, refusing to hearken unto 
him, the Saint one day, by divine 
inspiration, went forth to the banks 
of the river close beside the sea; 
and, standing thus upon the shore 
betwixt sea and stream, he began 
to speak in the guise of a sermon 
in the name of God unto the fishes. 
'Hear the word of God, ye fishes 
of the sea and of the stream, since 

9<9 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

heretics and infidels are loath to 
listen to it. 1 

"And, having uttered these words, 
suddenly there came toward him 
so great a multitude of fishes great, 
small, and middle-sized as had 
never been seen in that sea or in 
that stream, or of the people round 
about; and all held their heads up 
out of the water, and all turned 
attentively toward the face of An- 
thony. And the greatest peace and 
meekness and order prevailed; in- 
somuch that next the shore stood 
the lesser fish, and after them the 
middle fish, and still after them, 
where the water was deepest, stood 
the larger fish. 

"The fish being thus ranged in 
order, St. Anthony began solemnly 
to preach, speaking thus: 'My 
brothers the fish, you are greatly 
bounden, so far as in you lies, to 
thank your Creator that He hath 
given you so noble an element for 
your habitation; so that at your 
pleasure you have fresh waters and 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 99 

salt; and He hath given you many 
shelters against storm. He hath 
also given you a clear and lucid 
element, and food by which you 
may live. God, your courteous and 
benign Creator, when He created 
you, commanded you to grow and 
multiply; and He gave you His 
blessing. Then when the great flood 
swallowed up the world, and all 
the other animals were destroyed, 
God preserved you only without 
injury or harm. Almost hath He 
given you wings, that you may 
roam whithersoever it pleases you. 
To you was it granted, by God's 
command, to preserve the prophet 
Jonah, and after the third day to 
cast him up upon the land safe and 
sound. You offered tribute to our 
Lord Jesus Christ, which He, poor 
and lowly, had not wherewithal to 
pay. You were the food of the 
everlasting King Christ Jesus before 
the Resurrection, and again after 
it, by a strange mystery; for the 
which things greatly are you bounden 

ioo The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

to praise and bless God, which hath 
given you such great and so many 
benefits, more than to any other 

"Upon these and other familiar 
words and the teachings of St. 
Anthony, the fishes began to open 
their mouths and to bow their 
heads; and by these and other signs 
of reverence, according as it was 
possible to them, they praised God. 
Then St. Anthony, seeing such rev- 
erence in the fishes toward God their 
Creator, rejoiced in spirit, cried 
aloud and said: 'Blessed be the 
eternal God, since fishes of the water 
honor Him far more than heretic 
men, and the unreasoning beasts 
more readily hearken to His word 
than faithless men/ And as St. 
Anthony continued his preaching, 
the multitude of fishes was increased 
yet more, and none departed from 
the place which he had filled. 

"Upon this miracle the people of 
the town began to hasten forth, and 
among them were also the aforesaid 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 101 

heretics; the which, seeing so man- 
ifest and marvellous a miracle, felt 
their hearts sorely pricked, and they 
fell with one accord at St. Anthony's 
feet to hear his word. Then St. 
Anthony began to preach of the 
Catholic faith; and so nobly did 
he discourse that he converted all 
those heretics and turned them to 
the true faith of Christ; and all 
the faithful were comforted with 
great joy, and were confirmed in 
their faith. And this done, St. 
Anthony dismissed the fishes with 
the blessing of God; and they all 
departed with marvellous signs of 
rejoicing, and likewise the people. 
And then St. Anthony stayed in 
Rimini for many days, preaching 
and reaping a spiritual harvest of 
souls. " 

102 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 


THERE dwelt at Bourges, the capital 
of Berry, in France, an Israelite 
who was of all Israelites the most 
bitter foe of the Catholic Church. 
He was the leader of the anti- 
Christian movement, an earnest 
worker in opposition to every doc- 
trine that Anthony taught. Guillard 
the Jew was not an ignorant and 
blind bigot: he was a man of in- 
telligence, an honest doubter. Often 
he had listened to the preaching of 
Anthony, yet he was not convinced. 
Shall we not say that it was his mis- 
fortune rather than his fault that 
he remained without the fold and 
persistently assumed an attitude of 

The dogma of the real presence of 

The Wonder- W or her of Padua 103 

Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament 
was naturally his chief stumbling- 
block. Much he could accept and 
much consider in a calm spirit 
of philosophical inquiry; but the 
Eucharist, transubstantiation the 
perpetual miracle was in his esti- 
mation past belief. For this miracle 
he demanded miraculous proof. 

"The Turk does not question the 
word of Mohammed," observed An- 
thony to this fellow of Didimus the 
Doubter; "the philosopher accepts 
the philosophy of Aristotle; but 
you, who pride yourself upon being 
a worthy Israelite, will not accept 
the testimony of the Son of God." 
"I must see for myself, with these 
very eyes, before I can believe," 
replied the doubting Thomas. There 
are many who, like him, must put 
their finger in the wounds before 
they are convinced of the living 

One day Guillard said to Anthony : 
"Brother Anthony, if by some tan- 
gible, outward sign you can confirm 

IO4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

the truth you have demonstrated 
by reasoning, I will abjure my 
ancient creed and embrace yours. 
Do you consent?" In order to save 
a soul one may make great con- 
cessions; nor was it beneath the 
dignity of Anthony to offer visible 
proof to an anxious and inquiring 
eye. " I consent," said he. " I have 
a mule," added the Jew: "I will 
keep him for three days under lock 
and key, and in all that time feed 
him nothing. At the end of the 
third day I will bring him to the 
largest public square in the city; 
and there, in the presence of all 
the assembled people, I will offer 
him a feed of oats. You, on the 
other hand, will come carrying the 
Host, which, as you believe, is the 
true body of the Son of God. If 
the mule refuses the proffered food 
in order to prostrate himself before 
the monstrance, I will become a 
Catholic, and no longer question 
the truth of the doctrine taught 
by the Catholic Church." 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 105 

Here was a direct challenge, and 
it was not declined. Anthony felt 
that his victory was assured. The 
reward of that victory was an im- 
mortal soul. For three days the 
young apostle devoted himself to 
fasting and prayer. Not for one 
moment did he lose faith in the 
success of the miracle he was about 
to work, but he dared not attempt 
it without solemn preparation. Mean- 
while Guillard and his companions 
were so sure of Anthony's total 
defeat and discomfiture that there 
was much merriment at the wonder- 
worker's expense; and the interest 
in the approaching test increased 
from hour to hour. 

The eventful day arrived. Guil- 
lard and his friends trooped into 
the public square with smiles and 
laughter, so confident were they 
that the famishing mule would in- 
stantly abandon himself to his oats. 
The immense throngs who had 
gathered to witness the impending 
spectacle were consumed with curi- 

io6 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

osity. As Anthony slowly ap- 
proached, bearing reverently the 
Sacred Host, his eyes cast down, his 
air devotional, a great hush fell 
upon the multitude. He was fol- 
lowed by a large crowd of the faith- 
ful, singing canticles and whispering 

The mule was then led forward, 
and the oats laid temptingly before 
him. At that moment Anthony 
drew near, bearing the monstrance. 
Turning toward the dumb brute, 
he exclaimed : "In the name of thy 
Creator, whose body I, though un- 
worthy, hold in my hands, I enjoin 
and command thee, O being de- 
prived of reason! to come hither 
instantly and prostrate thyself before 
thy God; so that by this sign 
unbelievers may know that all crea- 
tion is subject to the Lamb who is 
daily immolated upon our altars." 
In the same moment Guillard and 
his friends presented the oats to 
the famished beast. Without taking 
the smallest notice of the food, the 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

mule, turning away, walked to the 
feet of Anthony, and, bending his 
knees, knelt before the Blessed Sacra- 
ment and remained there in an 
attitude of adoration. 

Great was the enthusiasm among 
the faithful. The heretics fled away 
in fright and hid themselves for 
shame; they dared not face the 
one who had proved that prayer is 
more powerful than the laws of 
nature. Many were so moved by 
the wondrous spectacle that, though 
they had long wandered from the 
path of duty, they returned into 
the fold. Guillard likewise sought 
admission, for he could no longer 
doubt; and with him came his 
household. He publicly attested his 
faith, and in gratitude erected a 
church upon the spot where the 
miracle had taken place; and that 
monument endures to this hour. 
As late as 1850 a block of marble, 
carved to represent a mule in the 
attitude of devotion, was discovered 
in the wall of the facade of the 

io8 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

church built by Guillard, and con- 
secrated in 1231 by Archbishop 
Simon de Sully. 

Pierre Rosset, a Doctor of the 
University of Paris and a poet of 
the fifteenth century; Wadding, in 
his "Annals of the Friars Minor"; 
and Benedict Mazzara, in his "Fran- 
ciscan Legends," bear witness to 
the authenticity of this memorial 
of a miracle. Toulouse and Rimini 
claim a like honor with Bourges, 
and there are those who have be- 
lieved that the miracle was repeated. 
The evidence is cloudy and con- 
flicting in these cases, but there is no 
shadow of doubt that Anthony the 
wonder-worker worked that wonder 
in the ancient city of Bourges; and 
that Guillard the Israelite then and 
there built the Church of St. Peter 
in honor of his glorious conversion. 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 109 



LET us not be disconcerted if we 
find several cities contending for the 
honor to which one only is entitled. 
Since Homer's death it has been 
the fate of the distinguished poet 
to be claimed by many and various 
peoples as father, brother, son; 
though while living in obscurity 
the devoted soul was suffered to 
endure neglect. It is not surprising 
that the miracles of Anthony have 
not always been definitely located. 
Some of them may have been re- 
peated in two or more localities. 
Tradition is more or less elastic; 
it sometimes grows with what it 
feeds on. What is of utmost im- 
portance is the proof of a miracle; 
it matters less where it actually 
took place. 

j jo The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

In Anthony we see embodied the 
beauty of holiness. There is one 
who has borne witness to the truth 
of this, for he was an eye-witness. 
The blessed privilege he enjoyed 
should have immortalized him, and 
yet the authorities are not united 
as to his identity. 

Anthony founded the monastery 
of Arcella Vecchia, without the walls, 
about a mile distant from Padua. 
There he loved to dwell; but as 
his duties called him into the city 
daily, and when preaching or hear- 
ing confessions in the evening he 
was often detained until the city 
gates were closed, he found it neces- 
sary to seek a lodging which he 
could occupy at his leisure. This 
he found, as Azevedo informs us, 
at the house of Tiso, or Tisone, one 
of the ancient family of counts of 
Camposampiero, famous in the 
records of their time. 

That a miracle was performed 
somewhere no chronicler doubts; 
but Azevedo seems to have had 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua in 

insufficient proof of the grounds for 
his statement that it took place in 
Padua. Wadding, on the other hand, 
does not attempt to locate it; but 
Father Bonaventure de St. Amable, 
a Carmelite of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, on the authority of ancient 
documents existing in his time, names 
without hesitation Chateauneuf the 
modern Chateauneuf - la - Foret as 
the hallowed spot. The legend is 
perhaps the best known in the life 
of the Saint, as it is certainly the 
most beautiful; and it has been a 
favorite subject for the art of the 
best masters during the last eight 
hundred years. 

Accepting the hospitality of the 
Lord of Chateauneuf, who, accord- 
ing to the "Annals de Limousin," 
dearly loved St. Anthony and his 
holy Order, he retired to his chamber 
and began the prayerful vigil that 
usually extended far into the night. 
His host, who was in an adjoining 
apartment, was startled by a light 
as of a conflagration that poured 

j 12 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

from under the door of Anthony's 
room. Hastening to the door, but 
fearing to enter lest he should dis- 
turb his guest, he listened for a 
few moments. Hearing voices, he 
became agitated; and, riveting his 
eye at a crevice, he beheld a vision 
that filled him with awe and wonder. 
Anthony knelt at a table where 
a large volume lay open; upon the 
volume, or above it, stood a child 
of such surpassing loveliness that 
the gazer's heart leaped within him, 
and his lips would have cried out 
for joy but that some mysterious 
influence enjoined silence upon him. 
The body of the infant was efful- 
gent: a soft glow was diffused on 
every side. The lustre of that counte- 
nance was ineffable. The radiant 
being seemingly reposed upon the 
air; and, from a soft veil of vapor 
that emitted a celestial fragrance, 
he leaned fondly upon the bosom of 
the friar, and with hands of exquisite 
loveliness delicately caressed him. 
Soft music, mingled with voices of 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 113 

heavenly tenderness and the flutter 
of invisible wings, betokened the 
presence of angelic visitors. 

The child, who was the Christ- 
Child, whispered in the ear of An- 
thony; and, as the Saint turned to 
the door, the master of Chateauneuf 
knew that his presence was detected. 
So when Anthony met him on the 
morrow these words passed beween 
them; the Limousin chronicler re- 
cords them in their brevity and 
simplicity: "Father, what did Our 
Lord say to you?" "He revealed 
to me that your house will flourish 
and enjoy great prosperity so long 
as it remains faithful to Mother 
Church; but that it will be over- 
whelmed with misfortune and be- 
come extinct when it goes over to 

In the seventeenth century the 
then Lord of Chateauneuf espoused 
the cause of the Calvinists, and in 
the fall of that house the prophecy 
was fulfilled. As for Anthony, one 
ever associates him with the Christ- 

i 14 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Child who nestles in his arms. From 
the holy visitations of the Divine 
Infant he gathered inspiration, and 
it was he who said: "The Sacred 
Heart is a fountain of supernatural 
life; a golden altar whereon is 
burning, night and day forever, 
incense that ascends in clouds of 
fragrance toward the skies and 
envelops and embalms the earth." 

The W onder-W orker of Padua 115 


S. A. G. 

SOME folk think the letters are 
mystical. Though their significance 
is known to many, there are very 
many more to whom they convey 
no meaning. You will usually find 
them, if they are visible, on the 
addressed side of an envelope, down 
in the lower left-hand corner. I 
say when they are visible; for some 
who use them seem afraid to use 
them openly, and so the letters are 
written in the ^ upper right-hand 
corner of the envelope, where the 
postage-stamp covers them ; or they 
are inscribed on the underside of 
the lapel of the envelope, and hidden 

It is a pretty cult, a sweet devo- 
tion, a symbol of faith and trust; 
and its votaries, who were shy 

ii 6 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

enough at first and perhaps with 
reason, for bigotry was rampant 
but a few years ago, now grow 
bolder; and their numbers multiply 
daily, hourly, and are scattered 
even unto the four quarters of the 

S. A. G.! What do these letters 
stand for? The question has been 
asked me a thousand times. Per- 
haps the letters, down in their cozy 
corner, were passed unnoticed for 
a time; then it was discovered that 
they were not the initials of the 
writer; interest was now excited, 
and at last curiosity refused to be 
satisfied until the mystery was 

S. A. G.! St. Anthony guide; or, 
St. Anthony guard. But why St. 
Anthony guide? It is the peculiar 
privilege of the Saint to guard and 
guide all travellers, and especially 
all toilers of the sea and all who 
are exposed to the peril of wind and 
wave. He is the rescuer and restorer 
of the "lost, strayed, or stolen." 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 117 

Not a day passes, not an hour, but 
voices of the distressed are crying 
to him for help in a search after 
something that is mislaid. And they 
do not cry in vain. There is testi- 
mony enough in proof of this to 
fill a library. 

Is it a foolish office to heed these 
sometimes trivial requests? Every 
answer is an answer to prayer, and 
the answer to prayer is the bulwark 
of our faith. Thus the wonder- 
worker works a perpetual wonder; 
it is an incessant miracle, that brings 
joy to myriads of grateful hearts. 

Every year the number of letters 
placed under the guidance of dear 
St. Anthony increases. The writers 
of letters who use the initials S. A. G. 
seem to have formed an involuntary 
brotherhood; they are unconscious 
members of another order of St. 
Francis, who thus proclaim, even 
unto the ends of the earth, their 
absolute faith in St. Anthony and 
his readiness to aid them. That he 
has a special interest in the trans- 

n8 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

portation of written messages is 
twice proved in his own case. The 
facts read like fairy tales but, then, 
let us remember his life was one 
long fairy tale filled full of wonders. 
Anthony, on one occasion being 
greatly in need of rest, wished to 
retire for a little season to a solitude 
about ten miles from Padua, known 
as Campo San Pietro. With this 
end in view, he wrote to his minister 
provincial begging that he might 
be permitted to repair thither. The 
letter written he went to the superior 
of the monastery and asked that 
some trusty messenger be charged 
with the delivery of his letter, and 
his request was at once granted. 
Returning to his cell to procure the 
letter and deliver it to the messen- 
ger, he found it had disappeared. 
He searched for it in vain. Unable 
to find it, he took it as a sign that 
his duty lay where he was, and he 
dismissed all thoughts of visiting 
Campo San Pietro. Shortly after- 
ward, turning again to his desk 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 119 

where he had left the letter, he 
found the answer lying there, the 
answer written by his minister pro- 
vincial, and freely granting his re- 
quest. Was it a celestial messenger 
that favored him? It is now An- 
thony's turn to favor one of his 
devoted clients. 

In 1729 Antonio Dante, a Spanish 
merchant, left Spain for South Amer- 
ica and established his business in 
Lima, Peru. His wife, who remained 
in Spain, wrote to him repeatedly 
without receiving a reply. In great 
anxiety she went one day to the 
Church of St. Francis, at Oviedo; 
here was a large statue of St. An- 
thony. She had with her a letter 
addressed to her absent husband. 
In all simplicity and with perfect 
confidence, she placed that letter 
in the hands of the statue and said: 
"St. Anthony, I pray thee let this 
letter reach him, and obtain for 
me a speedy reply. " 

The next day she returned to 
renew her prayer. Seeing a letter 

I2O The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

still in his hands, and believing it 
to be the one she had placed there, 
the poor soul began to weep; and, 
crying aloud, she said: "St. An- 
thony, why have you kept the letter 
which I wrote to my husband, 
instead of sending it to him, as I 
asked you?" Her boisterous grief 
attracted the attention of the Brother 
sacristan, who came to ask the cause 
of it. When he had heard her 
story he said: "I have in vain 
tried to take that letter from the 
hand of St. Anthony. See if he will 
give it to you. She took the letter 
from the hand of the image without 
difficulty, and at the same moment 
there fell from the sleeve of the 
statue three hundred golden coins. 
The amazed sacristan hastened into 
the adjoining monastery, called the 
friars into the church, where the 
bewildered woman was still waiting; 
and in their presence, before the 
high altar, the letter was opened 
and read. It ran as follows: 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 121 

LIMA, July 23, 1729. 

MY DEAR WIFE: For some time 
I have been expecting a letter from 
you, and been in great trouble at 
not hearing from you. At last 
your letter has come, and given me 
joy. It was a Father of the Order 
of St. Francis who brought it to 
me. You complain that I have left 
your letters unanswered. I assure 
you that when I received none I 
believed you to be dead. So you 
may imagine my happiness at the 
arrival of your last one. I answer 
by the same religious, and send you 
three hundred golden crowns, which 
will suffice for your support until 
my approaching return. In the hope 
of soon being with you, I pray God 
for you, commend myself to my 
dear patron St. Anthony, and ar- 
dently desire that you may continue 
to send me tidings of yourself. 
Your most affectionate, 


The original letter, written in 
Spanish, is preserved at Oviedo. 

122 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



ANTHONY had long been a wanderer. 
From Portugal he travelled into 
Spain, Morocco, Sicily. He jour- 
neyed from Messina to Assisi; from 
Assisi to Monte Paolo, Toulouse, 
Puy-en-Valey, Limoges, Rome, Ri- 
mini, Venice, Ferrara, Mantua, and 
elsewhere. But of all the cities he 
visited and of all the peoples he 
ministered unto, his name was des- 
tined to become associated with 
Padua and the Paduans. 

The Padua of to-day is not the 
Padua of old: it is naturally more 
or less modernized; yet, happily, 
a delightful flavor of antiquity still 
abides there, and is perceptible in 
all its nooks and corners. When 
I first visited Padua I was a pilgrim 
and a stranger. One may be ever 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 123 

a pilgrim in that hallowed land, 
but never twice a stranger. Alight- 
ing at the station, I wandered 
through the streets, suffering myself 
to be piloted by my Good Angel 
it may have been till I came to 
the inn with the sign of the Three 
White Crosses, and I abode there. 
The fifty thousand people of Padua 
left me to myself, and I went my 
way as if I were invisible to any. 
This shrine seems to be the least 
commercial of them all, and yet 
it is one of the most famous and the 
most popular. 

How soon one does Padua as a 
tourist: devouring it, as it were; 
bolting it as the hungry sight-seer 
bolts everything visible! Of course 
there is a memory and an indiges- 
tion after all is over, and the fagged 
tourist packs himself home and sits 
down to think. One does it in a 
day so much of Padua as is in the 
guidebook. There is a memory of 
lovely churches and the tombs of 
saints, and old walls covered with 

124 The W onder-W orker of Padua 

very ancient frescoes and other works 
of art, here Giotto was in his glory. 
And there is a memory of a host of 
college boys wandering to and fro 
with their arms upon one another's 
shoulders. A world-famous Uni- 
versity, that has been flourishing 
half a thousand years, is located 

Somehow, one can not help think- 
ing of Enrico and his Italian ' ' School- 
Boy 's Journal" that most charm- 
ing of the works of De Amicis 
when one falls in with these Paduan 
students, with their troubadour faces 
and airs and graces albeit they are 
not half so interesting as little En- 
rico. Oh, the power, the beauty, 
the fervor and the pathos of that 
book "Cuore," by Edmondo de 
Amicis! Read it if you have not 
read it; there you will see the heart 
of Young Italy laid bare. 

The great circular piazza of the 
city is wreathed with a double row 
of statues, commemorating in marble 
the famous or perhaps in some 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 125 

cases the infamous graduates of 
the memorable University. 

In Anthony's day Padua was a 
very different town. Now it lan- 
guishes in its comfortable age; then 
it was the abode of luxury, the haunt 
of vice. Debauchery and usury 
flourished; family feuds were rife, 
and God was forgotten. At Rimini, 
Bourges, Toulouse, Anthony had 
warred against heresy; at Padua 
it was the sensuous and sensual 
and dissolute life of the people he 
was called upon to reform. Fear- 
lessly he struck at the root of the 
evil; face to face he attacked the 
depravity of those high in office; 
hand to hand he wrestled with every 
obstacle that was raised before him, 
and overthrew them each and all. 
He was gentle, but firm; and his 
manner was so majestic, his argu- 
ment so convincing, and his denun- 
ciation so terrible, that no one 
could long withstand him. 

He put an end to the most pain- 
ful family contentions, and to the 

126 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

scandalous quarrels of political fac- 
tions. Guelph and Ghibelline were 
reconciled; those who had been 
long estranged fell upon one another's 
necks and exchanged the kiss of 
peace. Those who seemed unap- 
proachable were approached by him; 
those who were deaf to all others 
gave him an attentive ear. 

Sixty-four years after his con- 
version by St. Anthony, a once 
notorious brigand gave to the Friars 
Minor the following remarkable nar- 
rative of his personal experience: 

"I was a brigand by profession 
and one of a band of robbers. There 
were twelve of us living in the forest, 
whence we issued to waylay travel- 
lers and commit every kind of de- 
predation. The reputation of An- 
thony, his preaching and his miracu- 
lous deeds, penetrated even to our 
ears in the depths of the forest. 
Rumor compared him to the Prophet 
Elias. It was said his words were 
so ardent and efficacious as to re- 
semble the spark that falling into 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

the sheaves of corn sets them aflame 
and consumes them. 

"We resolved to disperse ourselves 
one day amongst the crowd in order 
to test the truth of these assertions. 
While he spoke another voice seemed 
to resound in our ears the voice of 
remorse. After the sermon all the 
twelve of us, contrite and repentant, 
threw ourselves at his feet. He 
called down upon us the divine 
pardon, but not without warning 
us that if we unfortunately relapsed 
into our old ways we should perish 
miserably. This prediction was veri- 
fied. A few did relapse, and ended 
their days on the gallows. Those 
who persevered fell asleep in the 
peace of the Lord. 

"As for myself, St. Anthony im- 
posed upon me the penance of mak- 
ing a pilgrimage twelve times to the 
tomb of the Apostles. To-day I 
have completed my twelfth visit; 
and I feel confident that, according 
to his promise and through his 
merits, I shall meet him above/' 

128 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

The chronicle adds: "Tears and 
sobs interrupted the old man's last 

Anthony is the glory of Padua, 
and gloriously has Padua enshrined 
him. In all her strange, eventful 
history there is no name that shines 
like his. He was one of the two who 
did more for the enlightenment, 
the humanizing and the harmonizing 
of the hordes of the Middle Ages 
than all the rest besides. 

Frederic Morin, in his "St. Fran- 
cois et les Franciscains," says: 
"Modern Europe has no idea of all 
it owes to St. Francis of Assisi." 
Montalembert has proved by indis- 
putable facts that "the victory of 
Christianity over neo-paganism in 
the Middle Ages was chiefly due to 
the gallant efforts of the two new 
religious bodies that sprang up in 
the thirteenth century." 

In the introduction of his life of 
"St. Elizabeth of Hungary" Monta- 
lembert says: "The children of St. 
Dominic and St. Francis spread 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 129 

themselves over Italy (then torn 
by so many disorders), striving to 
reconcile rival factions, to vindicate 
truth and confute error; acting as 
supreme arbitrators, yet judging all 
things in a spirit of charity. In 
1233 they could be seen traversing 
the peninsula, armed with crosses, 
incense, and olive branches; up- 
braiding the cities and princes with 
their crimes and enmities; and the 
people, for a time at least, bowed 
before this sublime mediation." Ce- 
sare Cantu, in his "Histoire Univer- 
selle," adds: "At the head of the 
peacemakers we must place St. 
Francis of Assisi and his disciple, 
St. Anthony of Padua. " 

Anthony preached peace and he 
restored it. His constant cry was: 
"No more war; no more hatred 
and bloodshed, but peace ! God wills 
it!" And there was peace. He was 
not quite alone in his noble efforts 
toward the reconciliation of all man- 
kind: the parish clergy, the sons 
of St. Benedict and St. Dominic, 

130 The^ Wonder -Worker of Padua 

as well as the sons of St. Francis, 
rallied at his call and mustered under 
his generalship. It was a holy war 
and a triumphant one. Among these 
soldiers of the Cross was one Luke 
Belludi, a preacher of eloquence 
and power, who received the habit 
from St. Francis himself, and who 
was one of Anthony's most devoted 
followers. His ashes lie buried by 
the side of those of the Saint he 
loved, in that wonderful shrine in 

He had his willing workers there 
in Padua and elsewhere, but the 
burden fell upon the shoulders of 
Anthony. And what a burden of 
responsibility of patient endurance, 
of calm judgment and wise and 
deliberate action it was! Yet all 
the while he was devoted to his 
mission: day and night he was in 
the pulpit or the confessional, or 
by the bedside of the sick and dying ; 
and none of the thousand cares of 
the sacred ministry was neglected 
by him. Ever forgetful of self, it 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 131 

is said that often and often he would 
toil until evening with no other 
nourishment, and no thought of other 
nourishment, than the Blessed Bread 
he had received from the altar at 
dawn. And all this was for the love 
of his people, for the honor of Padua 
and the greater glory of God. 

1 32 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



ANTHONY having chosen Padua as 
his place of residence, because, as 
his biographer, John Peckham, says, 
"of the faith of its inhabitants, their 
attachment to him, and their devo- 
tion to the Friars Minor," he there 
ended his life-work in his thirty- 
sixth year of grace. 

How he loved Padua ! A fortnight 
before his death, having ascended 
a hill overshadowing the city, he 
gazed down upon it in all its beauty ; 
and, stretching forth his hands above 
its marble palaces, its domes, and 
lofty bell-towers, embosomed in 
bower of foliage; while the incense 
of its blossoming gardens was wafted 
to him, and the ripening corn-fields 
and the vineyards framed it all in 
a frame of gold and green and 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

purple, he exclaimed in rapture: 
"Blessed be thou, O Padua, for the 
beauty of thy site! Blessed be thou 
for the harvest of thy fields ! Blessed 
also shalt .thou be for the honor 
with which Heaven is about to 
crown thee ! ' ' What honor? At that 
moment, in a vision, he beheld the 
celestial city, and through the gates 
of Padua the beloved his soul was to 
pass hence forever. 

It was while on his way to the 
heights of Campo San Pietro, a 
few miles from Padua, passing 
through a wood, the property of 
his friend Don Tiso, Anthony dis- 
covered a walnut-tree of gigantic 
proportions; here was deep shadow, 
layer upon layer, among branches 
as large as the rafters of a hall. 
Nothing could be more inviting; for 
only the birds nested there, while 
the butterflies fluttered in the sun- 
shine that environed it. It was a 
green island in a golden sea; a 
place of refuge and refreshment for 
the world-weary. 

134 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Having foreknowledge of his death, 
Anthony bethought him of this re- 
treat. With pliant boughs he wove 
a wall of verdure, and fashioned 
a little cell between earth and 
heaven, the daintiest oratory that 
ever was, and a couch for one who 
was in the world but not of it. The 
old masters have pictured him as 
in a nest among the spreading 
branch, and have painted him with 
childlike simplicity as brooding there. 
Probably his leafy cell was a little 
heaven of detachment, where nothing 
ever broke in upon his meditations. 
His faithful allies, Brother Luke 
Belludi and Brother Roger, kept 
watch with him, two silent sen- 
tinels standing between him and 
the outer world. 

Once a day he descended from 
his airy solitude and broke bread 
with the two Brothers who attended 
him; it seemed to be more a matter 
of form than of necessity. He no 
longer was of the earth as we are, 
but was a spirit bearing about a 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 135 

fragile shell of clay that was soon 
to be laid aside, a useless and aban- 
doned thing. His waking hours 
were passed in prayer and in the 
completion of his commentaries. He 
spoke not, nor was he ever known 
to smile : he was absorbed in prepa- 
ration for his final flight. 

One day, when he had descended 
to break his fast with his companions, 
he fainted at their rustic board. At 
first the Brothers thought him in 
ecstasy for his ecstasies were fre- 
quent now; but, seeing the shadow 
of death upon him, they hastened 
to assist him to a couch of green 
shoots close at hand. Having re- 
covered consciousness, and seeing 
the Brothers bending over him in 
tears, he begged that he might at 
once be taken to the monastery at 
Padua, there to die among his 
brethren, supported by their pres- 
ence and their prayers. He was 
tenderly placed in a passing peasant's 
cart, and the sad procession started. 
But so great was his exhaustion 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

when they reached Arcella the Con- 
vent of Poor Clares, near the gates 
of the city, that the Brothers be- 
sought him to alight there to seek 
the rest he stood so much in need 
of. With difficulty he was assisted 
into a small hospice adjoining the 
convent, where dwelt three or four 
Friars Minor who acted as chaplains 
to the daughters of St. Clare. 

By this time Anthony was begin- 
ning to lose consciousness; but, 
recovering himself for a little while, 
he made his last confession. When 
the friars proposed to anoint him 
he said: "I already possess that 
unction within myself; but it is 
good to receive it outwardly/' 

While Extreme Unction was being 
administered he recited with the 
brethren prayers for the dying and 
the Penitential Psalms, and received 
the absolution. Then, filled with a 
heavenly joy that was like an ecstasy, 
to the wonder of those about him, 
he sang alone, and in a clear, full 
voice, his favorite hymn: 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

O gloriosa Domina 
Excelsa super sidera, 
Qui te creavit provide 
Lactasti sacro ubere. 

Quod Eva tristis abstulit, 
Tu reddis almo germine: 
Intrent ut astra flebiles, 
Cceli fenestra facta es. 

Tu Regis alti janua, 
Et porta lucis fulgida: 
Vitam datam per Virginem, 
Gentes redemptae, plaudite. 

Gloria tibi, Domine, 
Qui natus es de Virgine, 
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu 
In sempiterna saecula. 

Having ceased singing, he raised 
his eyes to heaven with a gaze that 
startled his companions; it was as 
if those eyes were filled with some 
wondrous vision. Brother Roger, 
in whose arms he was supported, 
said: "What do you see?" And 
Anthony answered, still gazing in 
rapture : "I behold my God ! ' ' For 
about half an hour he was lost in 
contemplation of the beatific vision; 

138 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

and then, like a weary child, he 
fell into a deep sleep and woke no 

At the moment when his soul was 
set free from its earthly tabernacle 
Anthony appeared to Don Thomas, 
the Abbot of St. Andrew's at Ver- 
celli, who was at the time sitting 
alone in the room. His former pupil 
entered and said to him: "See, 
Father Abbot, I have left my 
burden near the gates of Padua, 
and am hastening to mine own 
country." He then passed his hand 
caressingly across the throat of the 
Abbot, who was suffering from a 
severe chronic affliction; and the 
throat was permanently cured. 
Thereupon Anthony disappeared. 

The Abbot, surprised at the sudden 
entrance and the exit of Anthony, 
hastened after him to beg him to 
remain a little while a guest; but, 
throwing open the door of his 
chamber, no Anthony was visible. 
Those who were waiting in the ante- 
chamber had seen nothing of him; 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 739 

nor had any one at St. Andrew's, 
save the Abbot, any knowledge of 
Anthony. Then the Abbot knew 
that the burden Anthony had left 
at Padua was his body; and that 
the home to which he was hasten- 
ing was not Portugal, but Paradise. 

Efforts were made to keep An- 
thony's death a secret. He was the 
popular idol of all Italy, and not 
alone of Italy: he had wielded 
greater personal influence than al- 
most any man of his time. He was 
not only respected by the masses, 
but he was listened to with rapt 
attention by the representatives of 
all classes, from the peer to the 
peasant. He was loved by all, 
reverenced by all; he was fairly 
worshipped by the vast multitude of 
his faithful followers. And, there- 
fore, it was deemed wise to keep 
his death a secret for a time at 
least, lest the populace should be 
distracted and demoralized by so 
terrible a blow. 

Man proposes! Hardly had his 


140 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

bright spirit taken its flight when 
the children of Padua the children 
he so dearly loved, as if inspired, 
rushed about the streets in a kind 
of frenzy, crying out: "Our Saint 
is dead! St. Anthony is dead!" 
Consternation followed; the whole 
city was plunged in desperate grief; 
and still worse was to follow. 

The body of Anthony was a 
precious treasure coveted by all. 
As the dying gaze of St. Francis 
rested upon Assisi, the city of his 
soul, whose portals he was not again 
permitted to enter in the flesh, so 
Anthony, homesick and heart-sick 
for his Padua, gave up the ghost 
without her gates. Had Anthony 
entered the city and breathed his 
last in the monastery of his Order, 
there could have arisen no question 
as to the ultimate disposition of his 
remains. But he fell by the way- 
side, as it were; therefore the Poor 
Clares, in whose humble hospice he 
died, claimed the honor of enshrining 
his remains; so did his brethren, the 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 141 

Friars Minor of Padua; so also 
did the suburbs and the magistracy 
of Padua promptly forward their 
claims. Thus it happened that the 
body of the Saint who strove to 
bring peace into the world once 
more, became the source of violent 

John Peckham describes the grief 
of the Poor Clares at the death of 
Anthony. "Alas!" they cried, "un- 
happy we! O tender Father of our 
souls, taken forever from your 
daughters, why has death spared 
us for this cruel blow? Our poverty 
contented us and we counted our- 
selves rich when we could hear you 
preach to us the Gospel of the Lord." 

Then one of the nuns sought to 
console the others in these words: 
"Why shed useless tears? It is not 
the dead we are bewailing, but an 
immortal, the companion of angels, 
an inhabitant of heaven. A great 
consolation will flow for us out of 
this painful separation if we can 
keep him here amongst us a joy 

142 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

we could not have whilst he lived." 
The Poor Clares sent a deputation 
to the magistrates and nobles of 
Padua, beseeching them to lend 
their influence to the end that the 
body of Anthony might be retained 
in their convent. The friars, imme- 
diately upon learning of his death, 
hastened to Arcella with the in- 
tention of removing the remains at 
once to their monastery of Santa 
Maria. " It was his wish," they said, 
in proof of their right to possess 
the body. And so it was his wish; 
yet the people of Capodiponte, where 
Arcella was situated, openly sided 
with the Poor Clares, and resolved 
that the Friars Minor should not 
carry away with them the blessed 
remains. The friars appealed to the 
bishop, who decided in their favor; 
but when the enthusiastic Paduans 
went forth to bring away the body, 
they were met by the armed 
partisans of the Poor Clares, and 
bloodshed seemed imminent and 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 143 

At length the bishop persuaded 
the combatants to declare a truce 
until the provincial who was absent 
at the time, and had been sent for 
should return. Still this did not 
suffice. That very night, while the 
friars at the hospice of the Poor 
Clares were watching beside the 
dead behind barricaded doors, the 
excited populace, eager to get a 
view of the body, if not to carry 
it away with them, threw down the 
barricades and rushed in to drive 
away the watchers. On the instant 
they were struck blind, and trans- 
fixed as if turned to stone. 

At daybreak the multitude as- 
sembled to look upon the body of 
Anthony and to touch it. Miracles 
were wrought then and there; while 
from time to time arose a wail from 
the people, who cried with one voice: 
"Whither have you gone, loving 
Father of Padua? Have you really 
gone away, and left behind the 
children who repented and were 
born again to Christ through you? 

144 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Where shall we find another to 
preach to us orphans with such 
patience and charity?" 

Owing to the non-arrival of the 
provincial, Brother Leo Valvasari, 
a very wise and prudent man later 
Archbishop of Milan, went out to 
calm the passions of the ever- 
increasing throngs. Addressing the 
men of Arcella, he said: 

- "My brothers, there can be no 
question of justice as regards your 
claim; but if you wish to retain 
the body of Father Anthony, asking 
it as a favor, I and my brethren 
will consult as to what seems to 
be the will of God. Meanwhile I 
gladly give you permission to watch 
the place where our holy Father 
Anthony lies, in order that you may 
not distrust us." 

A body of armed men was sent 
from Padua to protect the convent 
of the Poor Clares, and an order 
issued that any one molesting the 
friars, or found carrying weapons 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 145 

at Arcella, should be fined a hundred 
pounds of silver. 

When the bishop held court a 
few days later, he summoned the 
Friars Minor, as well as the repre- 
sentatives of Capodiponte, in order 
that he might hear and judge both 
sides of the question. It was now 
the belated provincial who arose 
and said: 

" Justice is a holy thing, and 
must never be made the sport of 
passion. Love and attachment are 
praiseworthy, but they must give 
way to justice. This present affair 
has been conducted with blind pas- 
sion rather than according to the 
rules of justice. Who can doubt 
that Brother Anthony belonged to 
us? You all witnessed his arrival 
at Santa Maria; how he went in 
and out amongst us; how if he 
went on a journey it was to us he 
returned. A month ago he left us; 
but only, as he himself said, to come 
back in a short time, and then 
to remain with us altogether. I, 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

therefore, who, although unworthy, 
govern this province, declare frankly 
Brother Anthony belongs to us, as 
he himself wished. We do not 
demand this ; but we, in all humility, 
ask the venerated chief pastor, the 
honorable council, and the faithful 
people of Padua, to grant our 

The petition was granted: the 
Sisters of Arcella graciously resigned 
their claim; peace was restored; 
and on the i8th of June, 1231 
five days after his death the body 
of Anthony was solemnly conveyed 
from the convent of the Poor Clares 
to the Church of Santa Maria, in 
Padua. It was a triumphal proces- 
sion, participated in by the bishop, 
the clergy, the members of the 
University, the civil authorities, and 
vast throngs of the inhabitants. 
The noblest of the Padovani in 
turn carried the bier; a myriad 
flaming candles borne after it were 
as a wake of fire. Pontifical Mass 
was celebrated by the bishop; and, 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua '147 

after the customary rites, the body 
was laid in a marble sarcophagus 
supported by four columns. From 
this shrine a flood of miraculous 
power issued. The blind saw, the 
deaf heard, the maimed walked, and 
the sick were healed. Even those 
who could not enter the church for 
the throngs that filled it to suffoca- 
tion were cured in the presence of 
the multitudes without. 

Toward the end of his life, by 
reason of his prolonged vigils, his 
continuous fasting, his arduous and 
unceasing labors, Anthony's form 
was wasted, his face haggard, his skin 
like drawn parchment; he was en- 
feebled to the verge of decrepitude. 
Those who looked upon his body 
after death found it restored to the 
incomparable beauty of youth. The 
smile of infancy played upon those 
fair features; a delicate flush suf- 
fused them; the limbs were once 
more softly rounded, and were pliable 
to the very last, as if he were but 
dreaming a sweet dream of rest. 

14-8 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

There he lay, wrapped in the inno- 
cent slumber of a child, fragrant as 
a dew-drenched rose a very lily of 
purity plucked in its perfect prime. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 149 



How can a saint be sorrowful? 
Should not his sanctity alone be 
sufficient to fill him with inexpressi- 
ble joy? He can sorrow for the sins 
of others, though he himself is sin- 
less. Anthony no doubt did this 
again and again, and yet again. He 
can despise himself and his works, 
they both fall so far short of his 
ideal; and surely this is sorrow 
enough for one soul to suffer. An- 
thony sorrowed in like manner; but 
I believe this was not his chief 
sorrow. The source of his sorrow 
lay elsewhere. 

In looking back through the brief 
history of his career, we find that, 
in a certain sense, Anthony's life 
was a series of disappointments, 

150 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

was, in fact, one long disappoint- 
ment from beginning to end. He 
did not pride himself upon his 
noble blood. He despised the riches 
that were in store for him and 
turned from them with contempt. 
He took no pleasure in the pastimes 
of his playmates. He sought only 
solitude; for his soul was ever 
solitary, and would fain fly away 
into the wilderness and there make 
its home. 

Having found a solitude which 
seemed suitable in all respects, his 
spiritual tranquillity was disturbed 
by the advent of the friars who 
were even then far on the royal 
road to martyrdom. Then solitude 
lost its charms; he also yearned 
for the baptism of blood the blessed 
pangs, the purifying flames, and the 
martyr's glorious palm. Yet these 
were not for him. At the very 
threshold of the arena, where torture 
and cruel death awaited their inno- 
cent victims, he was denied ad- 
mittance and laid low with a fever 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 151 

that compelled his reluctant retreat. 
Here was sorrow upon sorrow; for 
he had been thus rudely awakened 
from the loftiest dream of his life. 

Again his heart sought retirement, 
and, like the stricken deer, fled from 
the herd in anguish and dismay. 
The world he loathed with a 
righteous loathing; and to escape 
from it he feigned a simplicity of 
mind that, had it been genuine, 
must have unfitted him for almost 
every walk in life. Through this 
innocent ruse he was once more 
enabled to taste the sweets of soli- 
tude. There he enriched himself 
with those spiritual riches which 
he was anon to scatter broadcast 
through the world. 

Not long could he hide his light 
under a bushel, let him try never 
so hard. The breadth and beauty 
of his mind, the loving kindness of 
his heart, the splendor of his talents, 
the wisdom of his judgment, the 
depth of his penetration, the pro- 
fundity of his speculations, and the 

1 52 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

luminous exposition of every theme 
he touched upon, finally swept him 
into the very vortex of political and 
religious contention. 

This was the end of all his cher- 
ished hopes and fond aspirations. 
Real solitude he could never again 
know, save at long intervals and 
for a little moment; and even then 
he must have accused himself of 
leaving worldly duties unperformed 
for the holier and purer joy of 
silence and seclusion. 

But sorrow's crown of sorrow 
awaited him. Finding himself sud- 
denly called to his reward, with 
but a few hours between him and 
the grave, his one desire was to 
reach the city he had chosen for 
his own and the monastery of his 
brother friars, where he had hoped 
to end his days. Within sight of 
the gates of that city, within sound 
of the monastery bell, he was 
stricken down to death; and for a 
time it seemed as if his dust would 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 153 

not be permitted to lie within the 
sanctuary of his adoption. 

Therefore I say that the sorrows 
of Anthony were, in a certain 
sense, continuous and unceasing, 
that his life was one long sorrow. 
He bore this grievous burden meekly 
and in silence, with never a murmur 
of complaint. We have not learned 
from his lips or his pen a single 
syllable of his sufferings, mental, 
spiritual, or physical; but we know 
full well that he was a man of 
sorrows and acquainted with grief. 

J54 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



SORROW is for a night; joy cometh 
with the morning; and joys are 
the more joyful by reason of the 
sorrows that have preceded them. 
Life without contrasts is like a 
picture without light and shade 
a blank. Such a life is not worth 
the living. 

A poet has remarked: "The joy 
of love is loving." This is doubtless 
true, and this was Anthony's chief 
joy: he loved his fellowmen even 
when he sought to shun them. It 
was his nature to love, even as it 
was his nature to seek retirement, 
and to strive, perhaps, to forget 
the object of his love; for his love 
for God was the ruling passion of 
his life. As he loved all, so he won 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 155 

the love of all even the love of 
his enemies, who straightway became 
his faithful followers. 

Out of the abundance of his love 
he worked his wonders. Like a 
good husbandman, he went to and 
fro sowing peace in the field of 
dissension. At his approach, bring- 
ing with him as he did an atmosphere 
that penetrated the hardest heart 
and softened it, he attuned long- 
standing discords; he harmonized 
the inharmonious home circle. 

To the wife fleeing from the wrath 
of an enraged and unreasonable 
husband, he said: "Return to your 
own home in peace." And when 
she had come to her own house, a 
kindly welcome awaited her. To 
the infant whose lips had not yet 
framed a syllable, and whose father 
had unjustly accused his wife of 
infidelity, Anthony said : "My child, 
I adjure thee, in the name of the 
Infant God of the Manger, to declare 
publicly, in clear and positive terms, 

to whom thou owest thy exist ence." 

/5<5 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

The child, in the arms of its mother, 
turned toward the accuser and pro- 
nounced distinctly these three words : 
"Behold my father!" Then An- 
thony, taking the babe and placing 
it in the arms of the husband, said: 
" Love this child for it is indeed your 
own. Love also your wife, who has 
been proved to be faithful, devoted, 
and worthy of your affection." 

What a sermon, in a few words, on 
true and false love, he preached at 
the funeral of the Florentine notable ! 
Anthony's text was: "Where thy 
treasure is there thy heart is also." 
Pausing suddenly, he beheld in a 
vision the soul of that rich man in 
torment. He exclaimed: "This rich 
man is dead and his soul is in tor- 
ture! Go open his coffers and you 
will find his heart." The astonished 
relatives and friends hastened to 
do his bidding; and there, half 
buried among the gold pieces, they 
found the still palpitating heart of 
the dead Croesus. 

It was Anthony's fearless joy to 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 157 

bring a misguided bishop to re- 
pentance. He must have been con- 
scious of his power to impart health 
to the sick, and even to breathe 
life into the marble lips of the 
dead. Daily nay, almost hourly 
he brought peace to the heart that 
was troubled; he dried the tears 
of the mourner, and planted hope 
in the bosom of despair. These 
were the joys that must have visited 
him daily yea, even hourly; for 
daily and hourly was he scattering 
benedictions broadcast, even as the 
rain from heaven that falleth alike 
upon the just and the unjust. 

And so he passed away from 
sorrows that were ended, and from 
earthly joys to the joys of heaven, 
the joys that are without beginning 
and without end. He passed away 
beloved and bewailed by peoples 
and by nations, whose hearts he 
had touched as they had never yet 
been touched; whose consciences he 
had pricked until they had goaded 
their possessors into new paths, 

j 58 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

where they learned to lead nobler 
and braver lives; whose souls he 
had quickened and gathered into 
the fold, and saved forever and 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 159 



NUMBERLESS are the glories of An- 
thony, and they are ever increasing 
from age to age. Pope Gregory IX., 
who called him "the Ark of both 
Testaments and the storehouse of 
the Sacred Scriptures," longed to 
honor him. Under his teaching and 
preaching numberless heretics had 
been converted, rebellious cities had 
been reconciled, and the miracles 
which were being constantly wrought 
through his instrumentality had 
created astonishing fervor through- 
out the land; therefore it was the 
wish of his Holiness to attach 
Anthony to the Papal court and 
invest him with the purple. The 
gentle Franciscan, remembering the 
replies of St. Dominic and St. Francis 

160 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

on a like occasion, in 1217, made 
answer in the words of the founder 
of his Order. "My Lord," said the 
Seraphic Father, "my children are 
called Friars Minor because they 
hold the lowest rank in the Church. 
This is their post of honor. Beware 
of taking it from them under the 
pretext of raising them higher. " 
So Anthony was permitted to return 
into the solitude of God, and this 
was one of his glories. 

It was a glorious privilege An- 
thony enjoyed when he was per- 
mitted to fly to the rescue of his 
father, who was in dire distress. 
That father Don Martino was still 
a resident of Lisbon, still basking 
in the favor of the King and holding 
high office in the court. One day 
a young nobleman coming from the 
cathedral was seized and murdered 
by assassins, who threw the body 
into the garden of Don Martino, 
which was close at hand. Don 
Martino was arrested on suspicion 
and cast into prison. 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 161 

To Anthony the fate of his father 
was miraculously revealed. Having 
perfect faith in his innocence, and 
desiring to go at once to his rescue, 
Anthony asked leave of the superior 
of the convent of Arcella to absent 
himself from Padua for a little time. 
He was himself Provincial, and not 
obliged to ask leave of the Father 
Guardian; but he never forgot the 
exercise of humility, for he was 
meekness itself. Having obtained 
leave of absence, he began his weary 
journey, scarcely knowing when or 
how he was to reach its end, or 
whether he should arrive in time to 
rescue his father from impending 
peril. Filled with hope and perfect 
trust, suddenly he found himself 
miraculously transported to Lisbon. 
The trial was in progress. Anthony 
at once entered the courts; and, 
presenting himself before the judges, 
who were struck dumb with amaze- 
ment, he begged leave to speak in 
defence of Don Martino. He de- 
clared his father innocent. Where 

1 62 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

were his proofs? Anthony replied: 
"The murdered man shall bear 
witness as to the truth of my 

Anthony led the way to the 
victim's grave, followed by the won- 
dering judges and the excited popu- 
lace. He commanded that the grave 
be opened; and when it was opened 
and the body was uncovered, An- 
thony, addressing the dead man, 
charged him, in the name of God 
to say whether Martino de Bouillon 
was his murderer. Rising in his 
grave-clothes to a sitting posture, 
resting upon one hand while the 
other was raised to heaven, the dead 
declared in a loud voice that Martino 
de Bouillon was guiltless. Then, 
turning to Anthony, he begged ab- 
solution from an excommunication 
under which he labored; and, when 
his prayer was answered, he sank 
back into his coffin, a corpse again. 
Then the bewildered judges begged 
the Saint to reveal the name of the 
murderer, and he replied: "I come 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 165 

to clear the innocent, not to denounce 
the guilty." When Anthony re- 
appeared at Arcella, he had been 
absent two nights and a single day. 
On another occasion Don Martino, 
who had the management of a con- 
siderable portion of the royal ex- 
chequer, delivered a large sum of 
money into the hands of his subor- 
dinates, who neglected to give him 
a receipt for it. Some months later, 
when about to render his accounts 
he remembered that he had no 
receipt for certain monies delivered; 
and when he asked for one, those who 
had received the sum denied all 
knowledge of the transaction. It 
was a plot of his enemies to ruin 
him. While he was standing before 
his audacious accusers, in despair 
of proving his case, Anthony ap- 
peared at his side; and, naming to 
his accusers the exact hour and the 
very place when and where they had 
received the money, even describ- 
ing the different coins in which it 
had been paid, he demanded that 

1 6 4 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

a full receipt be at once rendered 
to his father; and as soon as it 
was done he disappeared. This is 
one of several instances of biloca- 
tion in the miraculous history of 

He knew the minds and the 
hearts of all, and spoke to many 
at a distance, calling them by 
name he had perhaps never met 
them face to face. At his word they 
were converted, and returned to 
the Holy Sacraments. Said Pope 
Gregory IX. six hundred years ago: 
"The supernatural which blossoms 
from the tombs of the elect is a 
continuous proclamation of truth; 
for by this means God confounds 
the malice of heretics, confirms the 
truth of Catholic dogma, renews the 
faith that is on the point of being 
extinguished, leads back Christians 
who have erred nay, even Jews 
and pagans to the feet of Him 
who is the Way, the Truth^ and the 

The famous book of the Bollan- 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 165 

dists contains nearly thirty folio 
pages filled with the record of pure 
miracles. Azevedo devotes an entire 
book of four chapters to some of 
the miracles of Anthony selected 
by the Bollandists as most authen- 
tic. Under the head of " Death, " 
among the classified miracles, Aze- 
vedo names a dozen cases; in each 
case the dead was brought to life. 
Under the head of ' ' Error " he 
notes numerous miraculous conver- 
sions, among them a Lutheran, a 
Calvinist, a Turkish lady, and an 
Indian prince. Under the title of 
" Calamity " are stories of miraculous 
relief brought to many and various 
persons. Those condemned to death 
were delivered, the imprisoned were 
set free, and all manner of diseases 
were healed. 

It is a pretty story told of a child 
whose mother seeing it fall from a 
high window, cried to Anthony for 
help. When the distracted mother 
rushed to seek her boy, he ran 
smiling to her and said: "A friar 

1 66 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

caught me in his arms and placed 
me gently on the ground/' The 
mother took her child to the old 
Franciscan church of Ara Cceli, in 
Rome, to return thanks; and as 
they entered it the little fellow, 
pointing to a picture, said: "See! 
there is the friar who saved me!" 
The friar was St. Anthony of Padua. 
A poor leper was being carried 
to the shrine of Anthony when he 
was met by a heartless soldier who 
scoffingly saluted him: "Whither 
art thou going, wretch? May thy 
leprosy come upon myself if St. 
Anthony succeeds in curing thee!" 
The leper went his way; and, while 
praying fervently, the Saint ap- 
peared to him and said: "Arise! 
Thou art whole. But seek out the 
soldier who mocked thee and give 
him the clappers; for leprosy is 
already devouring him." (The clap- 
pers were an instrument of warning 
which all lepers were obliged to 
carry about with them when in 
the streets, that people might avoid 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 167 

infection.) He who was a leper but 
a few moments before found the 
soldier in a wretched plight. The 
soldier, in his turn, repented; and, 
calling upon the Saint, he was 
straightway healed. 

Many were the wells he blessed, 
and the waters thereof cured fevers 
from that hour. Indeed, so wide is 
the range of his miracles that one 
may call on him in any strait. 

Perhaps the tenderest devotion 
of all he has awakened in the 
guileless heart of maidenhood. At 
his feet she lays her heart, and asks 
of him guidance in the choice of 
its protector. Trusting him, through 
him she would trust his choice for 
her; and thus repose in perfect 
confidence upon the bosom of one 
whose lot in life she has been sought 
to share in a union so dear, so 
delicate, so devotional, it seems 
indeed under the immediate patron- 
age of the most loyal and lovable 
of saints. 

Anthony spent the first fifteen 

1 68 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

years of his brief life in his paternal 
home; two years at St. Vincent's 
the monastery of the Canons Regular 
of St. Augustine, near Lisbon; nine 
years at Santa Cruz, in Coimbra; 
and about ten and a half years in 
the Order of the Friars Minor. He 
then passed away. So prodigious 
were the wonders worked at his 
tomb and through his intercession, 
within six months after Anthony's 
death the bishop of Padua petitioned 
the Holy See to confer on the wonder- 
worker the honor of canonization. 
The preliminary judicial inquiries 
were instituted without delay; and, 
by an exception almost unparalleled 
in history, before the year was 
ended, on Whit-Sunday, May 30, 
1232, the Sovereign Pontiff Gregory 
IX., then at Spoleto, solemnly pro- 
nounced the decree of canonization. 
In it he says: 

"Having ourselves witnessed the 
wonderful and holy life of blessed 
Anthony, the great wonder-worker 
of the universal Church, and unwill- 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 169 

ing to withhold the honor due on 
earth from one whom Heaven itself 
has surrounded with glory, we, in 
virtue of the plenitude of our apos- 
tolic authority, after having duly 
consulted our brethren the cardinals, 
deem it expedient to inscribe him 
in the calendar of saints." 

Indescribable rejoicing followed 
the announcement that Anthony 
had been declared a saint. His 
mother and his two sisters, who 
survived him, enjoyed the extraor- 
dinary privilege of witnessing the 
festivities given in honor of the 
Saint. Every city that had known 
him in the flesh now especially 
honored him ; every house or hospice 
or haunt that he had visited became 
hallowed in the eyes of his followers 
and a place of pious pilgrimage. 
At Brive, in the south of France, 
pilgrimages were twice interrupted 
and for a long time discontinued. 
In 1565 the Calvinists were the cause 
of this interruption, and in 1793 the 
Revolutionists. But in 1874 Mon- 

i jo The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

signer Berteaux re-established the 
devotion; the sons of St. Francis 
again took possession of the hill 
sanctified by the prayers of the 
wonder-worker; and the Bishop of 
Tulle, on August 3, 1874, when 
the Franciscans were reinstated, re- 
marked on that joyful occasion: 

" To-day I, the Bishop of this 
diocese, in the name of the Church, 
take possession again of this vener- 
able sanctuary, this celestial hill. . . . 
This spot has heard the ardent sighs 
of an impassioned lover of Christ, 
the mighty orator who drew his 
mystic lore from the Sacred Scrip- 
tures and deserved to be styled by 
Gregory IX. 'the Ark of the Testa- 
ment.' His commentaries on the 
divine pages may be likened to a 
golden harp sending forth magnifi- 
cent harmonies to the glory of the 
Word Incarnate. The Child Jesus 
Himself touched his lips and his 
fingers, that they might pour forth 
golden words. This inspired preacher 
of the word of God, whom we call 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

Anthony of Padua, has trodden 
these valleys and plains, has prayed 
and watched in this lonely cave, 
has slaked his thirst in this clear 
water which is a reflection of the 
purity of his soul. To-day I bid 
you welcome, sons of St. Francis, 
to this spot, once inhabited by your 
brother, the great wonder-worker. 
Proclaim Christ wheresoever you 
go; ... and in all your strivings 
imitate your holy brother in St. 
Francis, the great St. Anthony of 

Brive is annually the resort of 
thousands of pilgrims; and not 
Brive only and the valley of the 
Correze: everywhere and under 
many forms St. Anthony is ven- 
erated. At Vaucluse and elsewhere 
it has been the custom to invoke 
St. Anthony in order to insure a 
plentiful harvest. In a breviary of 
the fourteenth century belenging to 
the diocese of Apt we find the follow- 
ing form of blessing, it is the bless- 
ing of the seed-grain: 


172 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

" Bless, O Lord! this seed; and, 
through the merits of our blessed 
father St. Anthony, deign to mul- 
tiply it, and cause it to bring forth 
fruit a hundredfold; and preserve 
it from lightning and tempest. Who 
livest and reignest world without 
end. Amen." 

In the same volume is found the 
following prayer used when a bless- 
ing was invoked upon a child; and 
a measure of corn the weight of 
the child was distributed among 
the poor: 

"We humbly beseech Thy clem- 
ency, O Lord Jesus Christ! through 
the merits and prayers of our most 
glorious father St. Anthony, that 
Thou wouldst deign to preserve 
from all ill fits, plague, epidemic, 
fever and mortality -- this Thy 
servant, who, in Thy name and in 
honor of our blessed father St. 
Anthony, we place in this balance 
with wheat, the weight of his body, 
for the comfort of the poor sick 
who suffer in this hospital. Deign 

The Wonder -Worker of Padva 173 

to give him length of days, and 
permit him to attain the evening 
of life; and, by the merits and 
prayers of the Saint we invoke, 
grant him a portion in Thy holy 
and eternal inheritance, guarding 
and preserving him from all his 
enemies. Who livest and reignest 
with the Father and the Holy Ghost 
world without end. Amen/' 

J74 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 



FROM the very first, confraternities 
in honor of St. Anthony have existed 
in many parts of the world. With 
the revival of the spirit of Catholic 
devotion, the love for St. Anthony 
increased. His blessed name had 
ever been associated with the relief 
of tte wants of the poor; and a 
favorite form of charity, in his name, 
has been the liberal bestowal of 
loaves among the hungry and im- 
poverished. This bread has come 
to be known as the bread of St. 

Says a good woman, writing as 
late as 1892, from Toulon: 

11 1 promised bread to St. Anthony 
for his poor if he would help me, 
and he has helped me. All my 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 175 

friends pray with me to the good 
Saint, and all our troubles are com- 
mended to him with a promise of 
bread to his poor. We are astonished 
at the graces thus obtained. One 
of my most intimate friends prom- 
ised a certain amount of bread every 
day of her life if a member of her 
family could be cured of a fault 
that had caused her great grief for 
three and twenty years, and the 
prayer was granted. In thanks- 
giving she bought a little statue of 
St. Anthony, and we put it up in 
a dark corner where we require a 
big lamp to see it. And now my 
backshop is filled all day with people 
in fervent prayer. Not only do they 
pray, but one would think that 
they were paid to spread this devo- 
tion, so zealously do they do so. 
Sometimes a soldier, an officer, a 
sea-captain, going for a long voyage, 
will promise so much per month in 
bread to St. Anthony if they make 
their journey safely. Sometimes it 
is a mother asking for the health 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

of her sick child, or perhaps for 
the success of an examination. Then, 
again, it is a family asking for the 
conversion of one amongst them 
who is dying and will not see a 
priest; a servant out of a place, or 
working people out of work; and 
all these petitions, which are accom- 
panied with the promise of bread, 
are granted/' 

The Universal Association of St. 
Anthony of Padua, founded by Don 
Locatilli at the request and with 
the blessing of Pope Leo XIII., has 
been established at Padua. It now 
numbers nearly 260,000 members. 
The Pious Union a similar organ- 
ization is flourishing in Rome. Here 
and there in England and Ireland, 
chiefly in convents, the bread-givers 
have given freely in St. Anthony's 

There is a humble little Franciscan 
monastery church at Crawley, Sus- 
sex, England. Within that church 
is a chapel which for a long time 
was not dedicated to any special 

The Wonder-Worker of Padua 177 

object. Recently a remarkably fine 
portrait of St. Anthony was dis- 
covered at Crawley; it was placed 
in the unoccupied chapel, and the 
chapel was dedicated to the Saint. 
Thus was established the Guild of 
St. Anthony; its object, the pro- 
motion of devotion to St. Anthony 
and to propagate the work of the 
distribution of his Bread to the 
Poor. ''Masses and other spiritual 
advantages are given to its members, 
who are placed under no other 
obligation than the entering of their 
names in the register kept for that 
purpose at Crawley." The alms, 
or the bread promised in the name 
of St. Anthony, can be given wher- 
ever the donor pleases. Any reader 
who is interested in this beautiful 
charity can learn full particulars by 
applying in person or through the 
mails to the Rev. Father Guardian, 
O. S. F. C., Franciscan Monastery, 
Crawley, Sussex, England. 

When faith has been at a low 
ebb devotion to our Saint has not 

IT '8 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

dwindled. At Auges, where there 
is a very precious relic of St. An- 
thony, the inhabitants have been 
ever loyal to a man. A hard- 
working peasant is reported to have 
said to his son, with more enthu- 
siasm than judgment: "You may 
work on Sundays and you may 
work on holydays even Christmas 
and Easter if you must; but if 
you are so wicked as to work on 
St. Anthony's Day I will hang you 
from the highest gable of the house/' 
The body of St. Anthony was 
brought into Padua on Tuesday. 
It is a well-attested fact that no 
single sufferer who invoked his aid 
on that day failed to be cured. In 
1617 a lady of Bologna, who in 
her distress had appealed to St. 
Anthony, saw in a dream his like- 
ness. The Saint opened his lips 
and said: "Go on nine consecutive 
Tuesdays and visit the chapel of 
the Friars Minor ; there receive Holy 
Communion, and thy prayers shall 
be granted." And it was as he 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 179 

had promised her. This miracle gave 
rise to the devotion of the Nine 
Tuesdays in honor of St. Anthony; 
later it was increased to thirteen, 
in honor of the date of his death. 

For more than thirty years the 
body of the Saint remained in its 
marble shrine in the Church of 
Santa Maria Maggiore; but the 
friars and the people were not 
content, and in 1263 it was trans- 
lated by St. Bona venture to the 
high altar of a new church built 
by the Friars Minor in his honor. 
On opening the shrine at this time, 
it was found that the body had 
returned to dust, but the tongue 
was incorrupt and of a natural 
color. St. Bonaventure exclaimed 
in a transport of devotion: "O 
blessed tongue, which always didst 
bless the Lord and cause others to 
bless Him, now does it appear plainly 
how highly thou wert esteemed by 

In 1310 his body was again 
translated to a chapel which had 

180 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

been built expressly for it. This 
chapel did not satisfy the devotion 
of the friars; and still another, 
far more commodious and splendid, 
was erected, and thither the remains 
were translated in 1350. Many relics 
had been scattered among churches 
in various parts of Europe; and 
these were, as far as possible, 
.gathered together, and in 1745 they 
were all solemnly deposited in the 
magnificent receptacle where they 
are now venerated. 

In 1749 the church was nearly 
destroyed by fire, yet the altar of 
the Saint was quite uninjured. While 
the flames were raging fiercely, 
crowds of people were seen climbing 
upon the sagging roof and hurrying 
through the building in the midst 
of smoke and falling timbers; and, 
though many fell among the glow- 
ing coals and were struck by flying 
firebrands, no one was injured. 

The church and the chapel are 
among the richest and most beauti- 
ful in the world, and these alone are 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 181 

sufficient to attract thousands annu- 
ally to Padua. His is the ruling 
spirit there; one thinks only of 
him. Often a hideous little carving 
of bone or wood or metal is offered 
you for a mere trifle ; and his medals, 
his photographs, copies of portraits 
of surpassing loveliness, are for sale 
on every street corner. Within that 
shrine what splendor delights the 
eye! All that can be done with 
marble and bronze, and silver and 
gold and precious stones has been 
superbly done in the ornamentation 
of that wondrous mausoleum. 

Three sunburnt fishermen were 
kneeling with their foreheads resting 
on the sculptured marble of the 
tomb when I last drew near it. Is 
not good San Antonio the protector 
of all seafarers? Do not fair winds 
come through his intercession? Are 
not his medals and statuettes worn 
by devout Christian sailors the wide 
seas over? 

Having spent hours of rare refresh- 
ment in that glorious temple, and 

182 The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

gathered my little store of pious 
objects, I returned to mine inn for 
rest. From the windows I saw the 
lofty walls of II Santo the Basilica 
of San Antonio towering against 
the sunset. There is nothing finer 
than the proportions of this wondrous 
structure. Larger than San Marco 
at Venice, it is far more impressive 
when viewed from without. There 
are a hundred gables that toss like 
a broken sea. Clusters of delicate 
spires spring into space like frozen 
fountains; and over all rise seven 
splendid domes that seem to be 
floating in mid-air. One almost fears 
that the whole will melt away in 
the twilight, and leave only the 
spot that it once glorified like an 
Arabian tale that is told. Surely 
its creation was magical. Some 
genie, sporting with the elements, 
made marble soluble; and, dreaming 
of the fabulous East, he blew this 
pyramid of gigantic bubbles, and 
had not the heart to let them break 
and vanish. Or is it but another 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 183 

miracle of the beloved Saint? 
St. Anthony of Padua has been 
hailed as the Eminent Doctor, the 
defender of the Divinity of the In- 
carnate Word, and the vindicator 
of the Real Presence. He was also 
the champion and the apostle of 
the glorious mystery of Mary's As- 
sumption, as the Patriarch of Assisi 
had been of her Immaculate Con- 
ception. It was St. Anthony who 
uttered the versicle incorporated in 
her Office on the Assumption : "The 
august Mother of God has been 
assumed into heaven and placed 
above the angelic choirs." What 
proof had he of this? Our Blessed 
Lady appeared to him; with his 
eyes he saw her in her glory; with 
enraptured ears he listened to her 
voice celestial as she said: "Be 
assured, my son, that this my body, 
which has been the living ark of the 
Word Incarnate, has been preserved 
from the corruption of the grave. 
Be equally assured that, three days 
after my death, it was carried upon 

184. The Wonder -Worker of Padua 

the wings of angels to the right 
hand of the Son of God, where I 
reign Queen. " 

Therefore, with a heart filled with 
indescribable joy, he exclaimed: 
"The Virgin of Nazareth has, by a 
singular privilege, been preserved 
from the original stain and filled 
with a plenitude of grace. Hail, 
O Mother of God, city of refuge, 
sublime mountain, throne of the 
Most High, fruitful vine yielding 
golden grapes, flooding the hearts 
of men with the holy exaltation of 
pure love! Hail, Star of the Sea! 
Thy gentle and radiant light is our 
guide in the darkness, showing us 
the entrance to the harbor above. 
Woe to the pilot whose eyes are 
not fixed on thee! His frail bark 
will become the plaything of the 
storm, and will be swallowed up 
in the foaming billows." 

The glowing tributes which have 
been paid to St. Anthony of Padua 
would fill volumes, yet the noblest 
tribute of all is the silent but ardent 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua 183 

love his millions of followers have 
given him. Nothing need be added 
to this, yet I will add what St. 
Bonaventure said: that St. Anthony 
was "an angelic soul," and that his 
crown of glory was enriched with 
all the gems of grace and perfec- 
tion distributed amongst the other 
saints. "He possessed the science 
of the angels, the faith of the 
patriarchs, the foreknowledge of the 
prophets, the zeal of the apostles, 
the purity of virgins, the austerities 
of confessors, and the heroism of 
martyrs. " 

St. Antoninus, the illustrious Arch- 
bishop of Florence, says of St. An- 
thony : "He was a vessel of election, 
an eagle in knowledge, a wonder- 
worker beyond compare." And the 
Franciscan Liturgy adds: "A violet 
of humility, a lily of chastity, a 
rose of divine charity." He was the 
ardent advocate, the favorite and 
the champion of the Sacred Heart. 
Three centuries after his death the 
Venerable Jane Mary of the Cross 

186 The Wonder-Worker of Padua 

describes the following vision with 
which she was blessed: 

"While in prayer on the Feast 
of St. Anthony, I saw the soul of 
this Saint borne by angels to the 
feet of Christ. Our Lord opened 
wide the wound of His Heart; and 
this Heart, all radiant with light, 
attracted and seemed, in some sort, 
to absorb the soul of St. Anthony, 
as the light of the sun absorbs all 
other light. In the Heart of Jesus 
the soul of the Saint appeared to 
me like a precious gem of radiating 
brilliancy, which filled all the cavity. 
The varied play of its colors repre- 
sented to me the virtues of the 
Saint. They shone with marvellous 
splendor in the ocean of light pro- 
ceeding from the Heart of Jesus, 
to the honor of Christ and the glory 
of the Saint himself. Then Jesus 
took this lustrous gem in His Heart 
and presented it to His Heavenly 
Father, who caused it to be admired 
by the angels and saints." 

The Wonder -Worker of Padua i8j 

"When you hear that I am a 
saint, then bless ye the Lord." These 
words, that fell from the lips of the 
youthful Anthony when he first 
went in search of martyrdom, were 
not addressed to his brethren at 
the Abbey of Santa Cruz alone : they 
are as fresh and as appealing now 
as they ever were; they are alive 
and shall always remain alive; and 
to-day now this very hour they 
are addressed to me and to you, and 
to everyone that lives or shall live 
in ages to come, even unto the end 
of the world. 

"Bless ye the Lord!" 



THE AvE MARIA Press, which has done so 
much for Catholic literature and truth, has ren- 
dered conspicuous service to the good cause in 
publishing this volume. Readers of "Iza's 
Story," "Narka," etc., will expect a rare treat 
when they see Kathleen O'Meara's name, and 
they will not be disappointed. In limpid, 
pleasant style she tells the story of this wonder- 
ful life, and we would recommend it to all, 
especially to those weak-kneed believers who 
are fond of concealing those supernatural aspects 
of their religion at which the world is so much 
inclined to scoff. Catholic Magazine, (South 

A more beautiful story than Kathleen 
O'Meara's "Life of the Cure of Ars" would be 
hard to find. It is what might be called an 
English life, that is, utterly free from the pietism 
which for Americans so often disfigures the 
true life of a saint in the hands of French and 
Italian writers. It is not that our ideals of the 
saint are different, but that for the most part 
the saints have suffered from inferior biographers. 
With these people the fasts, lashings, humilia- 
tions of the saint, are more than his life. The 
means is made the end for the sake of descrip- 
tion, or to cover up the deficiencies of the 
biographer. Donahoe's Magazine. 

1 2 wo., cloth, $i. 
THE AVE MARIA, Notre Dame, Indiana 


This is a very entertaining volume of auto- 
biography. In it the author tells the story of that 
portion of his life during which he had been 
troubled at heart, and tortured by religious 
doubt. His description of the various mental 
states through which he passed, of the different 
sects of which he had experience, of their 
worship and usages, is most interesting and 
entertaining. The author brings to his task a 
very correct and graceful English style, and 
shows in many passages of his book that he is 
gifted with descriptive powers of a very high 
order. This work can be read both with pleasure 
and profit. The Irish Ecclesiastical Record. 

"A Troubled Heart, and How It was Com- 
forted at Last," is the title of a remarkably 
well-written account of the conversion of a 
Protestant to the Roman Catholic Church. It 
is the soul experience of one who longed for 
something more vivid and tangible than the 
Protestant service gave him, and who found it 
in the impressive ritual of the Roman Church. 
Many passages of the book glow with suppressed 
feeling, and are eloquent with a fervor which 
comes straight from the heart. However he 
may differ from the author, no reader can fail 
to respect his evident sincerity and his literary 
gifts. Sunday Chronicle, (San Francisco.) 

i6mo., cloth, 75 cts. 
THE AVE MARIA, Notre Dame, Indiana 

i*~" t 







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